OFFICIAL TRUTH SQUAD -- (House of Representatives - March 30, 2006)
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Mrs. BLACKBURN. Thank you so much. I appreciate the gentleman from Georgia and his work on the issues and for continuing to work on the Truth Squad to get the message out, and the gentleman from Virginia, our chief deputy whip, Mr. Cantor, who has been leading on this and working with us to be certain that we educate our constituents on exactly what a 527 is.
I love the poster that you have there. It is a PAC by another name. One of the problems with this, as we were just hearing from the gentleman from North Carolina and you reiterated, people do not know where the money is coming from. People do not know who is behind this group. And time and again in town hall meetings people will come before us and say, I got this call or I got this mailer. Who is this group? And then they find out that it is a group that nobody knows who is giving them the money. Nobody knows really what they are about. They are kind of a shadow organization.
I think it is time and it is appropriate that we put the emphasis on three things, which is what our bill will do next week: disclosure so that we know where the money is coming from; transparency so that our constituents when they get a piece of mail, they know who it is by. When they get a mailer from our campaigns, it says that. When they see an ad from our campaigns, it tells them. And we know that they are aware of who they are receiving that from. And that type of transparency is needed in this system.
The other thing is about fairness, and it is about fairness for the system because addressing these issues, disclosure, transparency, fairness, will enable our constituents to know that our focus is on being certain that they know that they can trust the electoral process, that they can trust that there is some truth in the material that they are getting with knowing where it is coming from, and that they know that we are working to be certain to restore the trust and integrity that they expect from this body and from the electoral system.
This is something that we have needed to address. We have watched the process and the 527s kind of get out of control with the 2004 elections. And I appreciate what you said about it being the politics of division. All too often these groups focus on the politics of personal destruction. No one is well served. No one is well served when we travel that path.
Our political process is to be about ideas and bringing forth ideas, in bringing forth issues that are focused on how we preserve freedom. How do we preserve hope and opportunity for future generations? How do we make certain that this Nation stays a free, a productive society? And being certain that we have an open and trustworthy process that is accountable is a way that we will do that.
So I thank the gentleman from Georgia for bringing the issue to the floor today. I thank the gentleman from Virginia for his interest in the issue and for being a leader on the issue as we address the problem that the advent of 527s have caused in the political process.
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Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Georgia, and one of the things, as we talk about fairness, again, going back to the politics of division and the politics of personal destruction, I have got before me a list of some of the shady acts that were committed by 527s when it comes to people that were hired to be voter canvassers and the way that they filled out faulty registrations and absentee ballots. That is the type of activity that my constituents repeatedly tell me they feel like should not be a part of the electoral process, that individuals should be held accountable for that.
One of the things that we have found is that many of these activities were carried out by 527 groups, and that is something that is causing our process to not function as it was set up. It is not fair to our voters. It destroys the ``one man, one vote'' principle, and I think that it is important that we address the activity.
I am so pleased that our focus is on disclosure, transparency and fairness, and I look forward to working with the Members of this body next week to be certain that our focus stays on trusting integrity in our electoral process.
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