It’s almost as if consultant and Texas Medical Association (TMA) lobbyist Bryan Eppstein runs the anti 1st Amendment caucus.
What else would you say about a consultant with so many clients aggressively on the wrong side of the 1st Amendment?
The latest example is SB 346, authored by an Eppstein client and pushed along by a bunch of other Eppstein clients. The bill would unconstitutionally apply reporting requirements to some groups and not others.
One of the armload of constitutional precedents this bill would violate says you cannot treat some corporate entities different than others. This bill carves some corporate entities out of its hefty, unconstitutional reporting requirements – the unions. This is a Republican-authored pro-union bill.
The bill’s author Kel Seliger, like many Republicans in the Eppstein stable, is the kind of Republican that might be a Democrat if Texas weren’t so conservative. A pro-union, anti-free speech bill isn’t such a stretch for this kind of Republican.
Another first amendment precedent SB346 tramples is the “significant purpose” test from the landmark U.S. Supreme Ct. decision in Buckley v Valeo. It established that heavy reporting requirements are only constitutional if the “major purpose” of an organization is the nomination and/or election of a candidate. Seliger’s SB 346 would apply these requirements to groups that aren’t even allowed to directly campaign. What’s his justification? If the group is connected to a PAC, well, it should be treated as part of it.
This is interesting corporate precedent. Maybe Obama could pick up on Seliger’s idea and decide that charities and money-losing businesses set up by people who own wealthy businesses should just be considered part of the business and taxed accordingly.
It’s Seliger’s own logic. If any of the same people are involved in two corporations, treat them both like they are the one with the higher governmental burden, be it taxes or reporting requirements.
Eppstein clients Bob Deuell, Charles Schwertner, and Tommy Williams all voted for this anti-first amendment, anti-corporate bill.