Manufacturing a Challenge

Posted February 6, 2008 at 6:42pm

The National Association of Manufacturers is suing the federal government over a provision in the lobbying reform law it says violates its constitutional right to free assembly.

NAM, which says the provision would force disclosure of its membership, also is seeking an injunction to block its enforcement before the first quarterly reports under the new law come due in April.

[IMGCAP(1)]“This pernicious law should be seen as a potentially lethal threat to trade associations,” NAM President John Engler said.

The challenge is focused on a piece of the bill aimed at imposing transparency on “stealth lobbying coalitions,” groups that only exist on paper in order to shield their financial sponsors.

NAM is arguing the provision was drawn too broadly, roping in established trade associations. Unless it complies, the group says it could face criminal penalties.

— Tory Newmyer