Recent press activity has put a spotlight again on efforts to require disclosure of political activity. During a recent investigation, the House Ways & Means Committee discovered email correspondence between an IRS official in the tax-exempt division and her former colleagues at the FEC that may have illegally disclosed confidential taxpayer information about a nonprofit that espoused views unpopular with the bureaucracy.
This is yet another reason why government agencies should not be seeking to catalog the political preferences of organizations it regulates. The NAM will continue to work to protect the First Amendment rights of manufacturers and their ability to participate in the political process. Continued efforts in Congress or in the bureaucracy to weaken First Amendment protections will only hurt our democracy.