One of the cornerstones of a free and civilized society is that government must recognize each individual’s God-given right to speak freely.
And in order for our constitutional Republic to survive, the law must respect each citizen’s God-given right to seek a redress of their grievances with the government.
That is how “We the People” provide a check on the powers of government.
Naturally, the Constitution of the State of Georgia provides protections for both of these fundamental rights.
But six Georgia politicians are pushing House Bill 142 — a bill that would rip to shreds the protections of our Constitution and destroy grassroots activism.
H.B. 142 would classify any person speaking to elected officials as lobbyists and require them to pay a $300 fee for the “privilege.”
That means if you want to complain to your local school board, your city council, or at a public hearing at the Capitol - these 6 politicians are demanding that you either pay up or shut up!
Further, as a “lobbyist,” you would be subjected to all of the onerous and confusing reporting requirements that paid lobbyists are made to suffer under. And if you fail to follow these bureaucratic procedures perfectly, you could be fined over $10,000.00!
These politicians claimed to want to reduce the size and scope of government and to defend civil liberties when they were on the campaign trail, but their Constitution-shredding bill actually expands the power and scope of this bureaucratic committee.
The bill also allows politicians to pick and appoint certain “special” people who can lobby officials without having to follow the same rules as normal citizens like you and me.
Imagine a society where in order to speak your mind about government, you were forced to first pay a fee, and then follow strict, bureaucratic compliance rules - unless you were a part of a special oligarchy of lobbyists approved by government officials.
If this bill were to pass, it would effectively kill grassroots activism in the state.
Citizens would stop speaking out about government wrongdoing for fear of running afoul of bureaucratic speech regulations.
Does that sound like a free society or some Third World dictatorship?
H.B. 142 was introduced by Speaker David Ralston, along with Representatives Larry O’Neil, Calvin Smyre, Jan Jones, Edward Lindsey, and Richard Smith.
To add insult to injury, these politicians are promoting their bill as “ethics reform,” even though the bill creates several new loopholes for politicians.
For example, the bill states that no public official with “actual knowledge" may accept gifts from lobbyists. The term “actual knowledge” has a specific legal meaning, and this bill would allow politicians to accept unlimited gifts, and simply claim they didn’t know who the gift came from.
Clearly, these 6 politicians have lost all respect for their oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution.
Contact them and demand they withdraw their free speech-killing bill, H.B. 142.
Demand they make a public apology for their blatant attack on our Republic.
Tell them you will not stand for this kind of behavior from any elected official, and you will not forget their actions.
Speaker David Ralston
david.[email protected] 706-632-2221
Rep. Edward Lindsey
[email protected] 404-264-1500
Rep. Larry O’Neal
[email protected] 404-656-5052
Rep. Jan Jones
[email protected] 404-656-5072
Rep. Richard Smith
[email protected] 404-656-6831
Rep. Calvin Smyre
[email protected] 706-649-2243
Once you’ve contacted each of them, CLICK HERE to contact your State Representative and demand that they oppose H.B. 142.