Top Dem Leaves DISCLOSE Act Vigil

Alana Goodman
Commentary Magazine
7/17/2012

After Senate Republicans blocked the DISCLOSE Act from a vote yesterday, Senate Democrats held a “midnight vigil” to support the donor disclosure legislation. The lead sponsor of the bill, Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, felt so strongly about fundraising transparency that he stayed at the debate all night long.

Kidding! He actually slipped out for awhile to attend a nearby fundraiser for a health care reform group.

BuzzFeed reports:

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, the lead sponsor on the DISCLOSE Act – which would force outside political organizations to disclose donations of more than $10,000 – briefly left a “midnight vigil” on the Senate floor to attend a fundraiser for a health care reform group…

…“Apparently the only thing more important for Sheldon Whitehouse than his all-night debate on the evils of money in politics was a fundraiser,” a Senate Republican aide emails.

The health care reform group that held the fundraiser is a nonprofit, so it wouldn’t be targeted by the DISCLOSE Act legislation anyway. The bill mainly targets super PACs, which, not coincidentally, have been used effectively by conservatives in recent elections…

Read the entire article at Commentary Magazine.

Related: GOP Challenger Hinckley: Sen. Whitehouse Stifles Job Growth

…“Sheldon Whitehouse, who I’m running against, has proposed new measures to further complicate our present tax code,” he said. “We need to start over. We need a fair, simpler tax code that makes April 15 just another day and in fact is pro-family and pro-business. The only way to put America at the top of the pile again internationally is to make and create a tax code that attracts capital to our shores instead of driving it away that attracts jobs to our shores instead of driving them away.”

Hinckley noted that Obamacare, recently upheld by the Supreme Court, will place yet another burden on people and businesses…

In the middle of a vigil dedicated to lament money in politics and bolster the argument for the DISCLOSE Act, Chuck Schumer said that the first amendment right of free speech is just a little too free, and he’d like to remedy that for ya by putting some new limitations on it.

No, he’s not a totalitarian at all. No way. He really does want you to have free speech, as long as it’s underneath a muzzle.

UPDATE: By the way, the Democrats lost on the DISCLOSE Act again this afternoon. The vote was along party lines: 53 to 45.

Watch the video!

Update 2: Group Exempt from DISCLOSE Requirements Meets with DISCLOSE Lead Sponsor During Vote

…It’s amusing how special interest groups like the Alliance for Health Reform, a group that supports Obamacare, somehow avoids the ire of Whitehouse and is described as nothing more than a “non-profit, nonpartisan health policy organization.” The only difference between Alliance and any organization that is targeted by Whitehouse, is that he agrees with their mission.

Of course he has another motive as well. It’s not protecting the people from the special interests. It’s protecting the legislators from the people.

During last night’s debate, Center for American Progress tweeted a quote from Whitehouse that was likely paraphrased from this interview with Sam Seder at Netroots Nation:

Under Citizens United, groups can threaten legislators with misleading, nasty, negative, anonymous ads.

Ultimately, the goal of people like Whitehouse, who is running for re-election against GOP Candidate, Barry Hinckley, is to silence his opponents, exempt his allies from scrutiny, and ensure that the people are prevented from holding him accountable…

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