ACU Calls on Senate to Reject Wyden/Murkowski Campaign Finance Legislation

Washington, D.C. -- The American Conservative Union (ACU) today called on the U.S. Senate to reject the campaign finance legislation introduced today by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Lisa Murkowski.

“This proposed campaign finance legislation infringes on freedom, privacy and free speech and it inhibits political discourse in this country,” said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas.  “This bill deprives every American citizen of the rights to support causes of their choice without fear of retribution from their bosses, neighbors or government officials. The privacy of those decisions needs to be protected and this bill promises to do away with all of the privacy rights our citizens should come to expect -- and which have been guaranteed in the past. Every time government tries to find a solution looking for a problem it makes matters worse.  The McCain/Feingold bill promised to do away with large sums of money in politics, but the opposite occurred. This bill is just another attempt at taking away citizens’ rights, and therefore we at the ACU strongly urge the Senate to reject this legislation.”

“When liberals talk about 'transparency', that isn’t what they mean.  What they really want and what this bill provides is a target list of conservatives who have the temerity to contribute their after tax dollars to support candidates and issues the left hates,”  said ACU Foundation Chairman Cleta Mitchell, who is also a campaign finance attorney. “For years liberals have been trying to silence conservatives and intimidate conservative donors in order to keep them from funding conservative causes, issues and candidates.”

“As our recent survey on privacy and free speech indicated, Americans see these as fundamental freedoms and they clearly believe that Obama and his administration have shown a pattern of attempting to limit free speech,” said Cardenas. “It indicated that voters are suspicious of political leaders who would try or threaten reprisals on those who finance their opposition on important issues. I encourage everyone to read the results of this important national survey.”

Key findings of the recent national survey:

  • 92% agree that “private American citizens should have the right to free speech to support any independent group that they want on an issue they want, for example groups that support or oppose gun control, support or oppose a woman's right to choose, protecting the environment, promoting business development and growth, etc.” 68% strongly agreed. Only 6% disagreed.
  • 89% approve and 62% strongly approve of “protecting the rights of privacy of American citizens to speak out on issues without fear of reprisal or retribution from anyone, including those in government, the media, their employers or opposing issue advocacy groups.” Only 7% disapproved.
  • 86% agreed that “private American citizens have a right to privacy when they support any issue-advocacy groups.” 58% strongly agreed and only 9% disagreed.
  • 86% agree that “American citizens have a right to privacy when they support independent issue groups.” 58% strongly agreed and only 11% disagreed.

All of the key findings, methodology and a full power point of those findings can be found can be found here.

Founded in 1964, the American Conservative Union (ACU) is the oldest and largest grassroots conservative organization in the nation. For almost fifty years, ACU has served as an umbrella organization harnessing the collective strength of conservative organizations fighting for Americans who are concerned with liberty, personal responsibility, traditional values, and strong national defense. ACU defines conservatism, grows conservatism, and wins for conservatism.

###