Last November, we voted Democrats into majorities in both houses of Congress. Looks like they're not wasting any time before strengthening their positions. Sounds like if this bill becomes law, if I post a note on USMessageBoard complaining about something Congress did (like this note), and 500 people read it here, I can be thrown in jail. Unless I report my activities to the Federal government, of course. We've starting to get the government we deserve. --------------------------- http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53813 Congress preparing to criminalize critics? Senate bill would 'create most expansive intrusion on First Amendment rights ever' January 17, 2007 5:00 p.m. Eastern The Senate is considering legislation that would regulate grassroots communications, with penalties for critics of Congress. "In what sounds like a comedy sketch from Jon Stewart's Daily Show, but isn't, the U. S. Senate would impose criminal penalties, even jail time, on grassroots causes and citizens who criticize Congress," says Richard A. Viguerie, chairman of GrassrootsFreedom.com Section 220 of S. 1, the lobbying reform bill 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, as lobbyists are required to do, Viguerie said. "Section 220 would amend existing lobbying reporting law by creating the most expansive intrusion on First Amendment rights ever," he said. For the first time in history, Viguerie stated, 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," Viguerie said. The Senate passed an amendment on the bill Jan. 9 to create criminal penalties, including up to one year in jail, if someone "knowingly and willingly fails to file or report." Viguerie said the legislation regulates small, legitimate nonprofits, bloggers, and individuals, but creates loopholes for corporations, unions, and large membership organizations that would be able to spend hundreds of millions of dollars, yet not report.