Re: Texas Legislators Make it Easier to Target Conservatives

by Ammon Simon

The Wall Street Journal has picked up on the Texas legislature’s attempt to force certain 501(c)(4)s and 501(c)(6)s to disclose their donors:

In 2012, independent political spending by 501(c)(4)s and 501(c)(6)s made up about 1% of overall election spending in Texas, hardly a political juggernaut. But the Texas saga shows that the only people who like campaign finance restrictions more than liberals are incumbents, who want to limit potential donations or advertising support for challengers. . . .

Mr. Seliger’s bill passed the Senate unanimously in April. But when Republicans realized what they’d voted for, two-thirds of the chamber voted to recall the bill from the House for a revote. That courtesy is routinely extended within the Texas legislature, but this time Mr. Geren refused. To force the bill directly to the Governor’s desk, he moved the bill through the House unamended and it passed 94-51 with 51 Republicans opposed.

Governor Rick Perry has until the end of the week to veto the bill or it becomes law. A spokesman says he is “reviewing” the measure, and the staffer didn’t seem happy that we were asking the question. This veto should an easy call for a Governor who claims to dislike the self-interested ways of President Obama’s Washington.

As I wrote last week, Governor Perry has said that the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law was an “unconstitutional . . . restriction of free speech,” so he should have no problem vetoing this bill – unless his devotion to the Constitution was just a campaign gimmick.

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