Says Provisions are Blatantly Unconstitutional; Calls on Democrats and Republicans to Defeat It
CONCORD – Today, the committee of conference on HB1459 agreed to an amendment that would levy unnecessary and unconstitutional regulations against free speech for political and issue advocacy purposes. The "watered-down" amendment, which was opposed by at least one of the original members of the committee, Rep. Jim Splaine (D-Portsmouth), still mandates unconstitutional provisions such as requiring a vote of the Board of Directors for corporations prior to issue or political advocacy, as well as regulates certain forms of communication such as periodicals and telephone calls.
Commenting, was Cornerstone-Action's Director, Kevin Smith: “The fact of the matter is that this proposed amendment is still blatantly unconstitutional as it puts unlawful prior restraints on free speech as well as unlawfully regulates certain kinds of communications. We call on Democrats and Republicans in both chambers to reject this outrageous and unconstitutional attack on free speech in New Hampshire."
As was reported in yesterday's Concord Monitor (5/27), Rep. Splaine said the proposal would have a "chilling effect" on free speech in New Hampshire and went on to say that "businesses and nonprofits would hesitate to spend money on political issues because they would fear being taken to court if they did not fulfill the reporting requirements."
Smith went on to say, "We totally agree with Representative Splaine. He clearly understands that this is not a partisan issue, but rather it's about protecting one of our basic rights: freedom of speech. We are hopeful that members of both parties will also come to this conclusion and defeat it when it comes up for a vote."
Cornerstone-Action is the legislative advocacy arm of Cornerstone Policy Research. Cornerstone-Action is a non-partisan, non-profit education and advocacy organization dedicated to the preservation of strong families, limited government and free markets.