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Accountable.US, a barely disguised political front group claiming to be a “non-partisan government watchdog,” is targeting Chamber members that have been vocal about protecting voting rights.
Their ads falsely claim the Chamber financed voter suppression efforts and blatantly mislead in noting our opposition to H.R.1/S.1, the misnamed “For the People Act.”
Here are the facts.
Opposition to H.R.1/S.1.
We oppose H.R.1/S.1 because the Chamber is a long-time defender of the First Amendment. In a letter sent to Senators in April we explained:
American democracy benefits from the robust participation of its citizens – whether they choose to engage individually at the ballot box or collectively through a party, association, or corporation. Yet S.1 would regulate and ultimately silence Americans who choose to petition their government or participate in the political process through the collective action of an association or corporation. Just as using the power of government to silence the press is antithetical to the Constitution and fundamental rights, so are the restrictions proposed in S.1.
The Chamber isn’t alone in having serious constitutional concerns about the legislation. The ACLU expressed theirs in this letter to House Members [emphasis ours]:
While some of our concerns have been addressed or mitigated since introduction, the bill, in its current form, would still unconstitutionally burden the speech and associational rights of many public interest organizations and American citizens. These provisions will chill speech essential to our public discourse and would do little to serve the public’s legitimate interest in knowing who is providing substantial support for candidates’ elections.
Will Accountable.US launch a campaign demanding members leave the ACLU or having a similar position as the Chamber? The short answer is no because this organization is focused on bullying businesses and distorting facts.
Changes to voting laws shouldn’t be partisan.
The Chamber does not support partisan changes to voting laws – whether at the state or federal level. “Changes enacted on a partisan basis are the most likely to erode access and security and undermine public confidence and the willingness of the American people to trust and accept future election outcomes,” we said in our letter to Senators.
Instead of partisan legislation, we have called for the creation of a national commission to make recommendations for improving our election system. It would be composed of former elected officials and leading citizens and be similar to the 2004 Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform.
Bottom line: The Chamber wants all segments of society to have a voice in the political process and will continue to defend fundamental First Amendment rights. Democrats and Republicans should make voting law changes on a bipartisan basis and find common ground to ensure Americans have trust in our election system.