Sadly, it’s easy to imagine a person being harassed or losing their job because they support a cause or organization. The “cancel culture” seems to be gaining momentum as a form of public shame.
What if the government had a list of supporters of every group that opposes or questions the president’s policies? What would happen if charitable donations were posted online?
For three years, ITR has worked for legislation protecting the freedom of association and freedom of speech for donors and volunteers of non-profit organizations.
Transparency is for government. Privacy is for individuals.
House File 309 prohibits state agencies from seeking or publishing personal information from members, supporters, volunteers, or donors of a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c) of the federal Internal Revenue Code. Lawful warrants in a criminal investigation would be exempt.
The Iowa House passed the bill in February with a vote of 84 to 9. Tuesday, it passed the Iowa Senate 45 to 1. A few challenges surfaced just before the Senate vote as some government agencies tried to carve out exceptions because they were anxious about losing some power. ITR and other organizations pushed backed, legislators stood strong, and the carve-outs were not included.
Now, this good legislation heads to the Governor’s desk for her signature.