So, the DISCLOSE act has again been filibustered. Scott Brown and John McCain have similar reasons for their opposition:
Republican Scott Brown, called the legislation “a cynical ploy masquerading as reform” in restating his opposition. Brown voted against a previous version put to a vote in 2010.
“Rather than treat all sides equally as a true reform bill would, it contains special carve-outs for union bosses and other favored interest groups,” he said.
A bill being debated this week in the Senate, called the Disclose Act of 2012, is a well-researched, well-conceived solution to this insufferable situation. Unfortunately, on Monday, the Senate voted, mostly along party lines, to block the bill from going forward. But the Disclose Act is not dead. As of now, it is 9 short of the 60 votes it needs.
The bill was introduced by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, who deserves tremendous credit for crafting such comprehensive legislation, listening to his critics and amending his bill to address their concerns in a bold display of compromise. At its core, Whitehouse’s bill would require any “covered organization” which spends $10,000 or more on a “campaign-related disbursement” to file a disclosure report with the Federal Election Commission within 24 hours of the expenditure, and to file a new report for each additional $10,000 or more that is spent. The F.E.C. must post the report on its Web site within 24 hours of receiving it.
A “covered organization” includes any corporation, labor organization, section 501(c) organization, super PAC or section 527 organization.
When changing the rules of political participation, Congress should err on the side of encouraging participation, not discouraging it with ambiguous legalese that only empowers lawyers.
Ha ha, that’s really funny:
In 2011 and 2012, 11 states have passed new voter ID laws. Not coincidentally, the impetus has come from Republicans. In an embarrassing display of candor, the Republican leader of Pennsylvania’s House, in rattling off a series of legislative accomplishments, said, “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Gov. Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania — done!” Republican-controlled legislatures also have enacted restrictions on early voting, including voting on Sundays (a day African American churches often sponsor “Souls to the Polls” programs), and ended same-day registration.
Of course, rich people are more equal than the rest of us.