I am really reluctant to post stuff like this without some independent vetting, because so many groups out there will distort reality into pretzels. That being said, anyone know if this is accurate? Or maybe point us all to a better source and/or debunking in the comments?
"Section 220 of S. 1, the lobbying reform bill currently before the Senate, would require grassroots causes, even bloggers, who communicate to 500 or more members of the public on policy matters, to register and report quarterly to Congress the same as the big K Street lobbyists. Section 220 would amend existing lobbying reporting law by creating the most expansive intrusion on First Amendment rights ever. For the first time in history, critics of Congress will need to register and report with Congress itself.
"The bill would require reporting of 'paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying,' but defines 'paid' merely as communications to 500 or more members of the public, with no other qualifiers.
"On January 9, the Senate passed Amendment 7 to S. 1, to create criminal penalties, including up to one year in jail, if someone 'knowingly and willingly fails to file or report.'
Mark Tapscott covered this issue here, but I am still not sure I have an accurate read on all this.
Update: See comments. As I feared, the above may distort the issue. Brandon Berg thinks the law kicks in when you communicate to 500 or more members of the public on policy matters and get them to contact Congress. It is not at all clear why I should have to register to perform such an activity, but this is narrower than implied in the press release above.
Update #2: I am becomming increasingly convinced that Lieberman and McCain are the same guy. Even down to their desire to protect incumbent politicians from political speech.
Update #3: Jacob Sullum is also skeptical that the law is really as broad as advertised above.