Senate GOP blocks DISCLOSE Act

The Daily Caller

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans blocked Democratic-backed legislation requiring organizations pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into campaign ads to disclose their top donors and the amounts they spend.

GOP opposition prevented Democrats from getting the 60 votes needed to bring what is known as the Disclose Act to the Senate floor. The vote was 51-44.

Democrats revived the act during a presidential election campaign in which political action committees and nonprofit organizations, funded by deep-pocketed and largely anonymous contributors, are dominating the airwaves with largely negative political ads.

Another version of the Disclose Act passed the then-Democratic-controlled House in 2010 but was similarly blocked by Republicans in the Senate. Republicans cite First Amendment rights and say the bill favors unions in opposing the legislation.

In a statement late Monday, President Barack Obama said he was disappointed and chided Republicans for blocking the bill.

“Instead of standing up for the American people, Republicans stood with big banks and oil companies — special interests that certainly don’t need more clout in Washington,” Obama said. “I’m disappointed Republicans in Congress failed to take action and hold corporations and special interests accountable to the American people.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky accused Democrats of wasting time on bills “they know won’t pass but which give them a chance to make a fuss about a problem that doesn’t exist and blow a kiss to the unions for good measure.”…

…Knowing they were facing defeat, Democratic supporters announced earlier in the day that they would hold a “midnight vigil,” speeches going late into the evening on the need for greater campaign transparency. “We can’t let the special interests off the hook after just one round,” [Sen. Sheldon] Whitehouse said.

Monday’s vote was strictly along party lines except for Reid, who changed his vote to “no” in a procedural move that allows him to bring up the legislation again on Tuesday. [emphasis CAJ]

Read the entire article at The Daily Caller.

Update: Dems: ‘Disclosure’ For Republicans, But Not Unions

Once again we see Democrats trying to upend fairness and legality by crafting legislation to force everyone but their union pals to observe restrictions on their activities and to disclose their funding of political campaigns. This time Democrats want to give unions exemptions on rules forcing people and organizations to fully disclose their political activities.

In this particular case, the DISCLOSE Act would have required political ads to reveal who has paid for them. But Senate democrats have snuck in a new version of this law that would eliminate this requirement.

The DISCLOSE Act of 2012 had two major features when it was first introduced. 1). The requirement that super PACs, unions, and corporations disclose the identity of their donors who gave $10,000 or more, and 2). Political advertisements had to reveal who paid for them. The latter was termed the “stand by your ad” provision.

However, the latest version of the bill dropped the “stand by your ad” provision because unions complained that they didn’t want to be required to engage in such transparency. Naturally, Democrats agreed…

Read the whole thing.

Comments are closed.