Speech Coalition &
Free Speech Defense and Education Fund
Activities - 2000
On March 15, 2000, on behalf of 26 members,
FSC submitted comments to the House Ways and Means Committee attacking
the so-called Study of Disclosure Provisions Relating to Tax-Exempt
Organizations, produced by the Joint Committee on Taxation. The comments
strongly opposed staff recommendations to expand dramatically the reporting
burdens and disclosure risks on tax-exempt organizations.
Regulatory Fishing Expeditions
On April 13, 2000, on behalf of 20 FSC members, FSC filed comments with
the U. S. Postal Service regarding proposed changes to USPS Rules of
Practice Governing Sec. 3005 Proceedings, opposing expanded subpoena
authority under the Deceptive Mail Prevention Act of 1999 (which FSC
had previously opposed and provided testimony against). Proposed regulations
allowed the Postal Inspection Service to get subpoenas executed by the
Inspector General in blank to be filled out later however the Postal
On May 15, 2000, FSDEF filed an Amicus Brief on behalf of itself and
47 FSC/FSDEF members in support of the Petition for Certiorari to the
U. S. Supreme Court regarding the ATA v Giani (State of Utah) case.
Only a partial victory was obtained in the U. S. Court of Appeals for
the 10th Circuit, which struck down the bonding requirement on fund
raising agencies and two other provisions of the Utah law, and FSDEFs
effort to obtain additional relief were thwarted when Certiorari was
denied by the U. S. Supreme Court in September.
for Protecting Free Speech
On May 19, 2000 the FSC was featured in a 20 column-inch article in
Human Events weekly newspaper, for its work in defending the advocacy
rights of non-profit organizations.
In May, 2000, FSC distributed to its leadership team a letter requesting
their input on issues (e.g., changes in nonprofit accounting standards,
emergence of new fund raising methods, etc.) to be addressed in the
Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. Standards for Charitable Solicitations.
On June 26, 2000, FSC hand-delivered to each U. S. House member a detailed
analysis exposing the constitutional flaws in H. R. 4717, the "Full
and Fair Political Activity Disclosure Act of 2000." FSCs
statement gave historical documentation of the importance of "anonymous
speech" in the founding and development of our nation. Congress
dropped the proposed inclusion of 501(c)(4) groups the final bill.
On July 25, 2000, FSC Legal Co-Counsel Bill Olson submitted testimony
before the House Subcommittee on the Postal Service of the Committee
on Government Reform on behalf of the FSC regarding Postal Inspection
Services abuse of law enforcement powers and the proposal to expand
subpoena authority of postal officials.
Abuse of the Cooperative Mailing Rule
FSC actively supported efforts to introduce and pass legislation to
prevent the U. S. Postal Service from dramatically expanding the intent
and application of the Cooperative Mailing Rule.
the Internet from Excessive Regulation and Taxation
FSC members attended the September NAAG/NASCO conference in San Diego,
CA to both observe and directly influence considerations of how these
regulators propose to burden and tax the use of the Internet by non-profit
Seeds for Future Harvest
FSC representatives met with Virginia Attorney General Mark Earley to
educate him on the problems of excessive state regulation of non-profits.
Information and Planning Strategy
FSC continued to educate nonprofits, vendors, and agencies about the
threat of excessive regulation, as well as educate regulators about
the adverse consequences of many of their policies. FSC sent its newsletter
"Free Speech" to members and nonmembers, sent fax and e-mail
alerts regarding new legislative concerns to its members. FSC held ten
leadership breakfast meetings to plan its strategy and track key issues.