GOP Blocks Transparency in Campaign Contributions

Make no mistake about it, Republican lawmakers are so set on opposing the Obama administration on any policy initiative that they are wiling to take down our democracy in its process.  Need proof?  Try today’s vote on the DISCLOSE Act.  The DISCLOSE Act was a modest proposal to try and counteract the amount of influence corporate money has in elections in the wake of the Citizens United v. F.E.C.  The Act would have required corporations and interest groups to identify themselves when they sponsor political ads and, in the case of smaller organizations, to reveal their donors. 

But the bill was defeated 57-41without a single Republican lawmaker supporting the bill even after the Democrats made Republican-requested concessions that would guarantee that unions and corporations were treated the same under the proposal.

Let’s be clear.  The bill didn’t put any limits on corporate political spending–a measure that would have likely come in conflict with the Supreme Court’s understanding of the extent of First Amendment political speech rights.  All that it did was force publication of who was putting money into politics, and given the dustup over Target’s recent support of a far-right gubenatorial candidate in its home state of Minnesota, people are hungry for just this kind of transparency.

But the Democrats could not break another GOP filibuster, and those in the GOP who claim to call themselves moderates need to take a hard look at themselves after this vote.  Scott Brown campaigned on more transparency in government.  Both Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe voted against this measure but, in 2001, voted for the far-more restrictive McCain Feingold campaign finance bill.  And let’s just forget about John McCain all together.

By not allowing the measure to pass, the GOP voted against granting the public information on basic campaign expenditures by outside groups.  The bill would have required Senate candidates to electronically file their campaign contribution reports and would have supported the basic premise that transparency enables democracy.

Wonder why the GOP wants to prevent the public from knowing just who gives them money and how much?

photo courtesy of borman818 via Flickr

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Caroline L.
Caroline L.5 years ago

It is very immature and very inexcusable for adults to behave this way, but this is payback for Bush. They are even spreading the same stories about Obama that I heard told about Bush. They are so angry that Bush was made a fool of and that his "regime" was a failure that they are determined to destroy Obama no matter the cost. In this regard, this is proof that they are loyal to party only and NOT TO AMERICA. They will do whatever they can to save their shitty party, even if it means taking us all to hell in the process. This is inexcusable, unforgiveable and must be punished by REJECTION. They must not win back their precious seats of power so that they will realize that Americans demand COUNTRY FIRST, PARTY SECOND (if that!). Seriously, vote for anybody else. You don't have to vote Democratic, in fact, I will vote NPA. But do not reward these goons with any more power.

Walter G.
Walter g.5 years ago

The 2 parties are the same party. Neither wants the cover they use to enrich themselves moved aside to allow public view. People are enraged by the totally asinine, outrageous, and authoritarian conduct of our government since the end of WWII. November voting is only one of the options floating around in rumor mills. There are people now openly preaching violence and anarchy to children, because they know the police and military will have a hard time controlling a mob of destructive, arson bent teens and pre-teens. What will happen? Look up "Kent State riot."

Tim L.
Tim L.5 years ago

A lot of ordinary people were happy that this bill didn't pass. I find this utterly amazing! Who in their right mind would be against knowing what organization or corporation is buying the votes of their elected representatives. Ignorance is killing this country, and you can thank the republicans and the blue dog democrats.

Jill E.
Jill E.5 years ago

I was appalled that this bill didn't pass, but not all that surprised. Reprisals, such as those against Target and Best Buy, are just a few reasons why the GOP didn't want this to pass. They are scared, but there must also have been some Dems that didn't vote for either.

jane richmond
jane richmond5 years ago

This is my "Shocked" face.

Marlyn Vega
Marlyn Vega5 years ago

and thanks for sharing

Marlyn Vega
Marlyn Vega5 years ago

don't you know..the Democrats are the same..Obum and the Democrats are full of crap

Patricia Yoder
Patricia Y.5 years ago

Interesting, but not surprising.

john b.
john b.5 years ago

WOW!!! Steven Gray GETS IT!! "Our" government is totally corrupted by the two party system. There is NO difference between parties, they are BOTH run by the wealthy corporate elite, and they BOTH use slick tactics to divide the masses by exploiting our irrational fears of each other. Neither are uniters they both are dividers, and that keeps us bickering and arguing while they rob us blind. Politicians are professional magicians, they distract us with misdirection, while they pull the wool over our eyes! So all you die hard REPUBLICRATS, arguing against the "other" party, are the real fools that are destroying this country. Wake the %&@# up and start questioning and disputing the lies and deceit of the magicians and sheep herders!

Beng Kiat Low
low beng kiat5 years ago