The most recent companies to cave to the anti-ALEC bullies were Amazon and Wal-Mart (urge them to reconsider at www.ALECPetition.com), iconic free-market success stories. Companies desperately need to hear from supporters of free-markets that they should not cave to these bullies.
If Democrats succeed in passing the DISCLOSE Act, the bullies who are hounding ALEC will be unleashed on every organization that promotes free markets and limited government - attacking corporate and individual donors with protests, threats, boycotts and all the rest. Contributing to an organization that supports the free market will mean opening yourself up to attacks from the left.
The Supreme Court has upheld the right of groups to protect the privacy of their donors, and it wasn't in the Citizens United decision that Democrats keep talking about. It was NAACP v. Alabama in 1958, which found that membership organizations have a right to protect the anonymity of their supporters because forced disclosure would risk retribution that could chill their free speech rights.
The attacks on ALEC expose the real agenda behind the DISCLOSE Act, which is to force proponents of economic freedom to identify themselves and be subject to harassment and intimidation. Congress should reject it.
Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment, a columnist on Fox News Opinion, chairman of the Internet Freedom Coalition, and author of the 2011 book Democracy Denied.
American Commitment is dedicated to restoring and protecting America’s core commitment to free markets, economic growth, Constitutionally-limited government, property rights, and individual freedom.
Washingtonian magazine named Mr. Kerpen to their "Guest List" in 2008 and The Hill newspaper named Mr. Kerpen a "Top Grassroots Lobbyist" in 2011.
Mr. Kerpen's op-eds have run in newspapers across the country and he is a frequent radio and television commentator on economic growth issues.
Prior to joining American Commitment, Mr. Kerpen served as vice president for policy at Americans for Prosperity. Mr. Kerpen has also previously worked as an analyst and researcher for the Free Enterprise Fund, the Club for Growth, and the Cato Institute.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Mr. Kerpen currently resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife Joanna and their daughter Lilly.
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