Americans for Limited Government Urge Veto of Tennessee Campaign Finance Reform Bill If Passed by Legislature

Americans for Limited Government, an organization that supports reducing the size and scope of government, sent a letter to Governor Bill Lee to urge him to veto a new campaign finance reform bill, if it passes the state legislature.

SB 1005, which was passed on a bipartisan vote in the Senate, would enact multiple changes to disclosure rules for political action committees (PAC), certain nonprofits, and candidates.

The House version includes minor differences that must be worked out before the legislation is fully approved and sent to Lee.

Specifically, some nonprofits would be forced to disclose expenditures, if the organization spends more than $5,000 on certain political messaging within 60 days of an election.

However, Americans for Limited Government argue the bill targets free speech.

“Today, doxing of conservatives is viewed as sport by the current generation of Internet warriors, and the impact is that many people will not donate to causes if they believe that their names will be made public. I don’t have to provide a laundry list of examples, we both know this is true. SB 1005-HB1201 would paint a target on the back of anyone who donated to a nonprofit group which expressed a position on legislation pending in Nashville. While I can certainly understand and sympathize with the intent behind the legislation, the practical violence it does to the basic freedom to petition lawmakers overwhelmingly argues in favor of a veto,” Richard Manning, the group’s president wrote in a letter to Lee.

Largely, some of the reforms are connected to a federal investigation into the actions of former Tennessee Speaker of the House Glen Casada, his former Chief of Staff Cade Cothren, and former State Representative Robin Smith.

“We live in a world where people’s legitimately held, mainstream opinions are used to cancel their careers and livelihoods. SB 1005-HB 1201 enables that political persecution and no amount of legislative tinkering changes that fact. For this and other reasons, Americans for Limited Government strongly urges you to veto this well-meaning, but ill-considered, dangerous and unconstitutional legislation,” Manning added.

The legislation will likely pass the General Assembly, as the measure is supported by the leadership of both chambers.

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Richard Manning” by Richard Manning. Photo “Bill Lee” by Bill Lee. 



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