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Sen. Harry Reid speaks on DISCLOSE Act
REID: "If this flood of outside money continues, the day after the election, 17 angry old white men will wake up and realize they just bought the country. That's a sad commentary.  About 60 percent, or more, of these outside dollars [contributing $10,000 or more] are coming from these 17 people."
The Senate will vote shortly on the Democrats' effort to fight back against Citizens United and the unlimited amount of money that can be raised and spent in secret on American political campaigns. This is yet another procedural vote, cloture on whether or not the Senate should consider having an actual vote on shedding some light on the vast, shadowy groups pouring money into our elections.

Democrats have resurrected 2010's DISCLOSE Act to simply require the disclosure of campaign-related fundraising and spending by outside groups. It doesn't restrict fundraising and spending, it just requires reporting of that information. The bill has even been scaled back a little bit from the 2010 version, reducing the disclosure burden on covered organizations and providing ways for organizations to keep non-political donations private. Will those changes be enough to garner Republican support? Of course not, despite the fact that as late as 2000, Republicans were completely gung-ho for campaign spending disclosure.

In fact, in 2000, Senate Republicans joined Democrats in overwhelmingly passing a bill, 92 to 6, that required a growing number of secretive tax-exempt groups to reveal their donors and spending. [...]

Of today's Republican senators, 14 were there in 2000 and voted in favor of disclosure.

Those 14 Republican senators: Dick Lugar (IN), Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX), Orrin Hatch (UT), Richard Shelby (AL), Jeff Sessions (AL), Pat Roberts (KS), Mike Enzi (WY), Chuck Grassley (IA), Susan Collins (ME), Olympia Snowe (ME), Jon Kyl (AZ), John McCain (AZ), Mike Crapo (ID) and Thad Cochran (MS). They all voted for transparency, back in the day, and another handful, including Scott Brown (MA), John Cornyn (TX) and even Mitch McConnell (KY), have touted the importance of transparency in political money.

Chances are very, very good that they won't be behind transparency today, and Democrats know it. They are already planning a "midnight vigil" to keep the Senate debate on the bill going and to force another vote tomorrow. "We recognize that you don’t win every fight in round one, and this is a fight worth continuing," says Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). He'll be joined by Sens. Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Al Franken (D-MN) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

It's probably going to be a long night for those senators. Republicans aren't going to let their secret billions be exposed.

•••

White House statement on the DISCLOSE Act.

3:42 PM PT (Meteor Blades): The cloture failed 51-44. Majority Leader Harry Reid switched his vote from aye to nay in order to be able to stand on the prevailing side and resubmit the motion.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Senators are corporations, too my friend...;) (10+ / 0-)

    Dudehisattva...

    "Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"

    by Dood Abides on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:35:40 PM PDT

  •  NRA wants DISCLOSE blown away (7+ / 0-)

    http://www.nraila.org/...

    Senate Sets Up Vote On DISCLOSE Act For Monday

    Next week, the United States Senate will once again take up the latest version of the DISCLOSE Act, in yet another attempt to curtail the First Amendment rights of Americans. The bill, S. 3369, has been fast-tracked on the Senate calendar and is set for a vote on Monday, July 16.

    NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), as well as all members of the Senate, expressing the NRA's steadfast opposition to the legislation.

    "Due to the importance of the fundamental speech and associational rights of the National Rifle Association's four million members," Cox wrote,  "and considering the blatant attack on those rights that S. 3369 represents, we strongly oppose the DISCLOSE Act and will consider votes on this legislation in future candidate evaluations."

    Not blaming Bush for the mess we're in, is like not blaming a train engineer for a fatal train wreck because he's no longer driving the train.

    by JML9999 on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:35:46 PM PDT

    •  I Posted This in Darcy Burner's Diary (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KayCeSF, vigilant meerkat, JML9999

      link

      This Video Puts Republicans on the Defensive

      ... by exposing their hypocrisy on the 2012 Disclose Act.

      Tell the Senate to Pass the DISCLOSE ACT

      The 2012 elections will be the most expensive ever, with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of negative, misleading campaign ads being paid for by undisclosed, dark money.  As a result of the Citizens United decision, voters have already been bombarded with nearly $140 million dollars worth of ads paid for by super PACs and likely millions more by secretive nonprofit organizations.

      We deserve to know who is trying to influence our votes and our lawmakers.  The Senate is set to vote on the DISCLOSE Act this week, but right now there are not enough votes to break a promised filibuster.  Members of Congress should support this important bill, recognizing that the health of our democracy depends not on secret millions being poured into elections, but on an informed electorate. The DISCLOSE Act will help let us know in real time who's behind the money, so we can make informed decisions when we got to the polls.

      link: Sunlight Foundation

  •  Republican treasonists....nothing less. (7+ / 0-)

    And our country was founded for this crap?

  •  I know filibusters don't happen where the (9+ / 0-)

    Senators are forced to stand and say why they're filibustering (or read the phone book, or whatever) but is there no option at all to make that mandatory?  Are senate rules incapable of demanding Senators who are blocking consideration of a bill explain why?  If so, what idiots wrote those rules, or were the writers just of a different, more naive time where one party wouldn't block everything just because they could?

  •  What I don't get--If you are filthy stinking rich (5+ / 0-)

    enough to buy a goddamn election--what the hell do you have to be mad about?

    What kind of therapy would be required to get to the bottom of that bullshit.

    I can see why the 50 yr old professional who got laid off 3 years ago and can't get re-hired because he is or she 50 and more experienced and therefore worth more than the free intern.

    Those people have a reason or 10 to be pissed.

    But a filthy stinking rich white dude?

  •  Why can't everybody see that the senate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Puddytat

    is massively and completely dysfunctional?

    In a sane world, it would be elimated within a fortnight.

    But, in today's world, it will likely last for ever, forever thwarting any progress that would mightily benefit the country, ugh!!

  •  Details? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Puddytat

    I'd still like to see the text of this version. In particular, the 2010 version exempted large, well-established organizations and looked to be a burden on newer, smaller ones. What does this version do?

  •  harry reid is horrible. . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9

    . . .at public speaking! God, it takes a real effort just to listen to him. I think his points admirable and he seems to have the best interest of the nation at heart but, my oh my, how did he get as far as he has with those public speaking skills?

    Someone, please, send him a tutor!!!

  •  The cloture vote (4+ / 0-)

    will tell us who is truly bought and paid for by the billionaires and corporations.  

    Sunshne is the best disinfectant.  Let's see who is putting all that money into the astroturf groups.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:44:13 PM PDT

  •  You can Buy the Country ANONYMOUSLY. (24+ / 0-)
    But to vote ... To cast a single vote you need a photo I.D.
    Try to wrap your head around that!

    "The Internet is the Public Square of the 21st Century"- Sen. Al Franken

    by Kdoug on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:44:18 PM PDT

  •  Instead of trying to make rules for outside groups (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    captainlaser

    why don’t they require candidates to disclose all of the contributions they TAKE. The Supremes may be able to tell outside groups what they are allowed to GIVE and it what manner they are allowed to give, but the voters/lawmakers should be allowed to stipulate the transparency requirements on contributions that candidates TAKE.
    This line of thinking has been around for eons, but our elected leaders never seem to think of it.

  •  Rub their noses in it Dems!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, Ditch Mitch KY

    And then use their NO votes in campaign videos to remind the voters where the Grand Overreach party Stands. With the 1%.

  •  Weren't the Republicans (0+ / 0-)

    just a few years ago (before Citizens United, as I remember) arguing that campaign contributions should be limitless as long as the donors were identified?  What happened to that belief?  These people change their minds about what is appropriate as often as Mittens changes his message.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:46:10 PM PDT

  •  The Senate Democrats' reported effort to (4+ / 0-)

    make the bill more palatable, by scaling back some of the 2010 provisions, begs the question:

    WHY?

    Once again, we're treated to the spectacle of the Dems negotiating with themselves.

    We see this farce playing out time and time again. Have our Senators learned nothing?

    They KNOW the damn thing's not going to get past the cloture vote.

    If this is just round one, and they intend to keep reintroducing it, that's fine. But SAVE the freaking scale back for the LAST round, when it might actually be the carrot that wins the vote.

    This particular scale back may be, substantively, small potatoes, but it perfectly illustrates a pattern of legislative incompetence. The Republicans are well aware of this. They'll just sit tight until the bill is amended to provide that only donations of less than $1 are subject to disclosure requirements. They won't even have to ask for it - they'll just wait until the Dems offer it.

    Republican Healthcare Plan: Everyone will be encouraged to move to Chris Collins' district, where noone dies of cancer.

    by WisePiper on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:46:41 PM PDT

  •  FINALLY!!! Democrats are standing for something (0+ / 0-)

    Hey, it's about time.

    This is what our reps. should have been doing from three years ago on. Still, I will take it now. I think we learned our lessons wrt the Repubilcans.

    By doing stuff like this it gets me fired up to support the President.

    "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

    by volleyboy1 on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:48:55 PM PDT

  •  What's this??? (0+ / 0-)

    "We recognize that you don't win every fight in round one, and this is a fight worth continuing." When in the ever-lovin' blue-eyed world did Democrats adopt that cockamamie philosophy??? Has Drudge been notified? Is Grover Norquist on board with this? What if Wolf Blitzer frowns and says something mean?

    Have the Democrats really thought this strategy all the way through? If they're not extremely careful, some of the dirty fucking hippies might even be heartened, and that's some pretty serious shit, there.

  •  Name these 17 old men... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raatz, Ditch Mitch KY, Matt Z

    ...so that we will know who our new owners are. Let's use freedom of the press to expose these people and their motivations. Let's see how they like the publicity. My guess is that these guys prefer remaining behind the scenes.

  •  This should happen for ALL offices (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9

    This shouldn't be just for the presidency.  This should be for ALL political offices.  This should be for ALL partisans.  This should be law.

    Next issue.

    The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

    by commonsensically on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:57:31 PM PDT

  •  2200 Americans have given $25,000 to Romney (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9

    So how many 1%'ers are there?

    How many donors of $50, 100, 200 does Romney have?  

    Almost none.   And $50 donors have as many votes as a $25,000 donor.  Level the playing field by turning out in November.  You don't need to give $25,000.  You just need to outvote those people who do.

    The Muslim said "I wished I had met Christ before I met the Christians" - Rev. Marvin Winins

    by captainlaser on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:57:41 PM PDT

  •  I just called Lugar, Snowe, Collins (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9

    Lugar's office said he would vote NO.
    Snowe and Collins have no statement.

    Of the list of 14 corrupt GOP obstructionists, those three are the only hope.

    McConnell wins again.  No vote.  17 men can buy the country.

    •  What their names are Assad, Chavez or (0+ / 0-)

      Ahmadinejad?  There are reasons the public needs to know so we don't elect the friend of the nation's enemies.

      Romney went to France instead of serving in our military, got rich chop-shopping US businesses and eliminating US jobs, off-shored his money in the Cayman Islands, and now tells us to "Believe in America."

      by judyms9 on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 03:21:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It would be nice to see Reid make them work (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ditch Mitch KY

    for that filibuster, for once.  

    The Patriot Act: IOKIYAD!

    by Beelzebud on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:59:15 PM PDT

  •  Hey, DSCC, I got your ad copy right here: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vigilant meerkat
    Back in 2000, Dick Lugar (IN), Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX), Orrin Hatch (UT), Richard Shelby (AL), Jeff Sessions (AL), Pat Roberts (KS), Mike Enzi (WY), Chuck Grassley (IA), Susan Collins (ME), Olympia Snowe (ME), Jon Kyl (AZ), John McCain (AZ), Mike Crapo (ID) and Thad Cochran (MS) voted in FAVOR of disclosure of contributions.

    Now these same Senators are AGAINST disclosure. If you happen to be represented by one of these feckless pricks, call and ask wassup with that.

    Run THIS ad, and I'll contribute to the DSCC.

    Republican Healthcare Plan: Everyone will be encouraged to move to Chris Collins' district, where noone dies of cancer.

    by WisePiper on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 03:01:20 PM PDT

  •  Is there still time to put a "Secret Hold" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9, msdrown

    on the transparency bill?  Because that would be epic!

  •  voting (0+ / 0-)

    cloture vote happening RIGHT NOW! CSPAN 2

  •  We're one vote short in the California legislature (0+ / 0-)

    to pass our own Disclose Act, but 100% of the Republicans hold firm against it.

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 03:11:09 PM PDT

  •  Can progressive organizations be transparent anywa (0+ / 0-)

    Can progressive organizations practice full disclosure anyway, or will it be unilateral disarmament to do so?

  •  collins (0+ / 0-)

    collins a no its over

  •  Time to actually FORCE a REAL filibuster (0+ / 0-)

    Make those jerks stand up in front of the senate for days on end and justify why they are selling our democracy to the highest bidder.

    The biggest mistake since the 2008 election was not killing the filibuster in the beginning of 2009 - if we had, the 2010 election would have gone a MUCH different way because we would have been able to actually fix the economy instead of just caving under filibuster after filibuster.

    Atheism is a religion like Abstinence is a sexual position. - Bill Maher, 2/3/2012

    by sleipner on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 03:19:15 PM PDT

    •  Right, and if the GOP gets the Senate the (0+ / 0-)

      filibuster will go the way of pantaloons.  So will secret holds.

      Romney went to France instead of serving in our military, got rich chop-shopping US businesses and eliminating US jobs, off-shored his money in the Cayman Islands, and now tells us to "Believe in America."

      by judyms9 on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 03:23:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

        Especially if Romney gets the presidency, because he'll probably stack a few more really young ultra-conservatives on the supreme court and Citizen's United will become permanent, so they'll know they don't have to worry about the Democrats ever taking control again...especially if they lock up state legislatures in 2020 again and gerrymander, block dem voters, etc.

        Atheism is a religion like Abstinence is a sexual position. - Bill Maher, 2/3/2012

        by sleipner on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 04:30:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What's worse? (0+ / 0-)

    The big donors for Reid and Pelosi will also be transparent.

  •  Quit screwing around and legislate public funding (0+ / 0-)

    This is all pillow fighting. The Disclose act, as much as I'd like it to pass, is barely a bandaid. There needs to be legislation put in place which allows public funding of all elections in the US which competes head to head with private funding. And culturally we the activists need to see that it is considered shameful by the public to run for office on anything other than a level playing field. I'd even consider a challenger receiving a small percentage more than an incumbent if that levels it better.

    What kills me is that I'm sure lots of independent and even some Republicans (I know a couple already) who would heartily support taking money out of Washington. Sure it won't happen soon but the Democratic party is the only one that would survive such a change in the short run. The GOP would have to replace neocons with more populist, broader based candidates than corporate representation. This would frankly be a nuclear solution to the corruption problem.

    That is how you fight citizens united. Keep building a law, or better yet pass an amendment, to make it hold against the Supreme Court which provides a level playing field. Lobbyist must have their 'right' to buy Congress repealed. They can petition, as they are supposed to, without any money passing through hands. Otherwise should there be no instantly accessible hand outs for those who leave congress for a period after they are out of office. If you received a check, you cannot work on behalf of whoever sent it for a period of years.

  •  Anonymity is a 1st amendment right (0+ / 0-)

    In McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission, SCOTUS upheld the right to distribute anonymous campaign literature. It should tell you everything you need to know that the dissenters in the case (i.e., voting against anonymity) were Scalia, Thomas, and Rehnquist.

    The question presented is whether an Ohio statute that prohibits the distribution of anonymous campaign literature is a "law . . . abridging the freedom of speech" within the meaning of the First Amendment.
    ...
    Indeed, as we have explained on many prior occasions, the category of speech regulated by the Ohio statute occupies the core of the protection afforded by the First Amendment:
    ...
    Under our Constitution, anonymous pamphleteering is not a pernicious, fraudulent practice, but an honorable tradition of advocacy and of dissent. Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority.
    •  Anonymous speech? Sure. Secret money? No. (0+ / 0-)

      It is one thing to anonymously distribute pamphlets, or even to hire someone to distribute pamphlets for you.

      It is something else entirely to give a pile of money to someone and let them use it to distribute pamphlets that they write.

      That latter, a mere transfer of money with no actual speech or ideas attached to it, is what hurts democracy. And you can be damn sure that transfer is not at all anonymous. The recipients know very well who is buying them. Instead it is secret, and that is what we ought to be targeting here.

  •  What is this "vigil" business? (0+ / 0-)

    I can't find any information on what they're doing procedurally.  Is this some sort of attempt to enforce a "real" filibuster overnight?

  •  Matthews had a great moment showing Mccconell's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    here4tehbeer, freesia

    hypocrisy on Hardball. In 2000, McConnell was FOR showing the names of big donors and Unions.

  •  Mitch "Filibuster" McConnell. Enough said. (0+ / 0-)
  •  My Democratic senator, (0+ / 0-)

    Mark Begich, just submitted into the record a resolution in support of overturning Citizens United that was passed unanimously by our borough assembly last week. Mrs. RA has spent the last year and a half organizing and politicking to get that passed. Sitka is the first community in Alaska to pass such a resolution and it won't be the last.
    And Lisa Murkowski voted against the DISCLOSE act. She said she made a mistake when she voted to defund  Planned Parenthood and wouldn't make that mistake again. She just made that mistake again.

  •  So, the Republican Party is being honest, for once (0+ / 0-)

    "People who want to vote need ID! People who want to buy the vote, not so much."

    Why am I not surprised?

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