Disclose Act

11:04 am
Tue July 17, 2012

McConnell Successfully Blocks Disclose Act

A bill that would require Super PACs to release their donor list was defeated due to a Republican filibuster led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who has been a vocal opponent of the legislation.

The DISCLOSE (Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections) Act failed by a 51-to-44 vote, falling short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster. Since last month, McConnell has ripped the legislation as a form of intimidation being led by the Obama administration.

Local and national critics, including U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., have pounced on McConnell's opposition, pointing out that he once supported the idea of full transparency.

From The Daily Beast:

Originally, conservatives like Mitch McConnell who backed the money-is-speech position offered the consolation prize of radical transparency and instant disclosure for all election-related spending, including independent expenditures.

But now such a proposal represents, in McConnell’s words, an attempt to “protect unpopular Democrat politicians by silencing their critics and exempting their campaign supporters from an all-out attack on the First Amendment.”

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6:32 pm
Sat July 7, 2012

NY Times Editorial Goes After McConnell Over Disclose Act

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In a stinging editorial, the New York Times chastises Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for opposing legislation that would require Super PACs to disclose their donor lists to the public.

Last month, McConnell delivered a pointed speech against the Disclose Act where he argued it was an attempt by the Obama administration to intimidate conservative donors and organizations. The GOP leader went as far as to accuse the president of engaging in Nixonian harassment to undermine the First Amendment.

But those in support of the bill—including Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Ky.—argue the measure is necessary to know who is behind political ads in the Citizens United world.

From the New York Times:

The vast majority of the secret money going into “social welfare” organizations like Crossroads GPS, founded by Karl Rove, is being spent on behalf of Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates, and the Disclose Act is coming up for another vote in a few weeks. So Mr. McConnell needs a new excuse for filibustering it again. But his suggestion that President Obama and Democrats want disclosure in order to compile a list of “enemies” is repugnant.

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4:01 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Yarmuth: McConnell is Endorsing Dishonest Campaigns

In a House floor speech Tuesday, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., slammed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for opposing legislation that would require Super PACs to disclose the names of their contributors.

Last Friday, McConnell told a conservative think tank that keeping donors names a secret is a First Amendment right, but Yarmuth says anonymity allows individuals to distort the truth without being held accountable by the voters.

Check it out:

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10:59 am
Tue June 19, 2012

McConnell Being Scolded for Opposing Disclose Act

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is being scolded for flip-flopping on campaign disclosures after his denunciation of legislation requiring that Super PAC donors provide their names.

Speaking before the American Enterprise Institute last week, McConnell argued that contributors to third party organization have a right to remain secret and that the Disclose Act is threatening their free speech. But local and national critics point out that wasn't McConnell's position a few years ago when he was at the forefront of opposing campaign finance reform.

"Money is essential in politics, and not something that we should feel squeamish about, provided the donations are limited and disclosed, everyone knows who's supporting everyone else," McConnell told NPR's Talk of the Nation in 2003.

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3:10 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

McConnell: Obama, Disclose Act Threaten First Amendment

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In a fiercely worded speech, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., accused President Obama of violating citizen's First Amendment rights and denounced legislation that would require Super PACs to disclose the names of contributors.

The conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute hosted McConnell on Friday, where he addressed First Amendment rights in light of the Supreme Court’s much argued Citizens United case. The decision rejects spending limits in federal elections for companies and unions.

McConnell has been supportive of the controversial 5-to-4 ruling  and has urged the justices to reaffirm the decision in the face of a pending legal challenge.

Democrats have pushed the Disclose Act in response to the ruling that would mandate third party groups reveal who donated to pay for election ads, but the measure has failed to move forward in Congress.

McConnell says the measure amounts to harassment and an attempt to intimidate conservative donors and organizations.

"What this bill calls for is government-compelled disclosure of contributions to all grassroots groups, which is far more dangerous than its proponents are willing to admit," he says. "Because if disclosure is forced upon some but not all, it’s not an act of good government, it’s a political weapon…This is nothing less than an effort by the government itself to exposes its critics to harassment and intimidation."

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