Republican leaders are working to censor conservative groups in Tennessee.
Another caption bill with a surprise amendment was added at the last moment (not available online to the public) that would limit the free speech of organizations like Tennessee Stands. Speaker Cameron Sexton is targeting nonprofit organizations and working to penalize a 501(c)(4) if it speaks the name or uses the likeness of any political candidate for office 60 days prior to an election. Download the proposed amendment HERE. Check out SECTION 13 on page 9. They don't want you to know what is going on in the General Assembly. They don't want accountability to the voters. They want secrecy. Call members of the House Local Government Committee and tell them to vote NO on HB 1201. This is an abuse of power and an effort to control the narrative and limit free speech in the state of Tennessee. That cannot happen.WATCH VIDEO Please consider a one-time or monthly recurring contribution! We are 100% supporter-funded. Tennessee Stands is an IRS-designated 501(c)(4) social advocacy organization.DONATE
Open letter to Speaker Cameron SextonSpeaker, Referencing your quote to the Tennessee Conservative News. “Speaker Sexton replied, ‘This legislation does not place any prohibitions on any types of communications to voters from these currently unregulated and non-transparent entities. The proposed legislation would only require transparency for any 501c4 organization that spends $5,000 or more within 60 days of an election. I have a difficult time understanding how adding transparency to a 501c4’s campaign activities as we have with other groups that are required to disclose expenditures places limits on free speech or a small government approach. I believe Tennesseans stand for and want more transparency in campaign finance.’”
I just want to be certain as to if you are simply mistaken and do not understand the bill you are running? Or, are you intentionally working to mislead the public? SECTION 13 specifically addresses using the "name" or "likeness" of a candidate for office. You do understand that those are NOT “campaign activities,” correct? Should organizations who directly advocate for the election or defeat of a particular candidate register as a PAC? Certainly. And the law is already clear on that point. But when an organization simply reports the facts (and opinions and commentary) on what candidates or elected officials have done, that sir is not a "campaign activity." That is the practice of free speech. Indeed, you are working to limit the free speech of individuals in Tennessee simply because you don’t appreciate what they have to say. These are moves made by men who have no concept of liberty and only an interest in protecting themselves, their influence, and their positions. Make no mistake, should this bill pass in its current form, it will be met with legal challenges. I hope you reconsider your efforts on this bill. It is not a good look, especially for someone working towards a run for Governor. Gary Humble