The key provision of the 2006 bill was its redefinition of grassroots lobbying to include small citizens groups whose messages about Congress and public policy issues are directed toward the general public, according to attorneys for the Free Speech Coalition.
All informational and educational materials produced by such groups would have to be registered and reported on a quarterly basis. Failure to report would result in severe civil penalties (likely followed soon by criminal penalties as well).
The new bill isn't out there yet, nor am I likely to wade through it when it appears, so I will have to wait for further analysis. But this doesn't look good. If citizens groups receiving $50,000 or more in outside funding are to be considered "lobbyists", then we have reached a point where the first amendment is looking pretty thin.
Why are lobbyists evil anyway? Seems to me the problem isn't with the lobbyists, it is with the legislators. Maybe we should require quarterly reports from the congress critters.