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Perry Vetoes Controversial Disclosure Bill

Perry Vetoes Controversial Disclosure Bill

Gov. Rick Perry has vetoed one of the most controversial bills to pass the Legislature during the current session, 1200 WOAI news reports.

 

  Perry killed a bill which was pushed through by Democrats, which would have required organizations which lobby the legislature to report the names of their largest financial contributors.

 

  Perry said the measure would have a 'chilling effect' on the democratic process.

 

  "Freedom of association and freedom of speech are two of our most important rights enshrined in the Constitution," Perry said in his veto message.  "While regulation is necessary in the administration of Texas political finance laws, no regulation is tolerable that puts anyone's participation at risk or that can be used by any government, organization, or individual to intimidate those who choose to participate in our process through financial means."

 

  Perry cited the IRS scandal in Washington as helping him decide to veto the bill.

 

  "At a time when our federal government is assaulting the rights of Americans by using the tools of government to squelch dissent, it is unconscionable to expose more Texans to the rise of such harassment, regardless of political, organizational, or party affiliation."

  Republican groups pointed out that Democrats managed to attach an amendment which exempted labor unions, which are the largest contributors to Democratic Party candidates, from the disclosure requirement.

 

  "Governor Perry has saved Texans from the threat of harassment and intimidation simply by virtue of their contributing to non profit entities that speak out politically," said Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, a conservative group.  "The governor's veto of SB 346 sends a welcome message, that the Lone Star State won't tolerate infringements on clear constitutional rights or chilling limitations on political speech."

 

 

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