The legislation would require certain tax-exempt groups involved in political advertising — which currently are not required to disclose the names of their donors — to release the names of those who give donations of $10,000 or more. A similar vote Monday ended with the same result. – Senate Republicans block DISCLOSE Act for second straight day
THE DISCLOSE ACT is something on which everyone should agree, especially in the post Citizens United era. That it received a majority in the Senate, 51-44, but didn’t pass, is par for the filibuster course.
It goes to the heart of the column I did last week on the “social welfare” scam by Karl Rove, the Koch Bros, and groups like 60 Plus. These groups operating what amounts to slush funds of millionaire donations, who can remain anonymous, is why the Obama administration, and Democrats, separately, have filed complaints against them.
“What really frightens me is not just the disastrous nature of Citizens United, but the whole trend that we are seeing lately, economically etc., of moving this country toward an oligarchic form of government. What you have right now is incredibly unequal distribution of wealth and income,” Sanders says, going on to note that “the Walton family of Walmart itself owns more wealth — one family — than the bottom 40 percent of the American people.” He continues, “You’ve got that reality out there, and then what’s happening now — what Citizens United is about — is these guys are not content to own the economy, to own the wealth of America, they now want to own lock, stock and barrel the political process as well.” – “Viewpoint,” with Eliot Spitzer [Current TV]
What Sen. Sanders reports about the health of the Walton Family of Wal-Mart (see video) will leave your jaw on the floor.
Statement on Republicans blocking the DISCLOSE Act from the League of Women Voters:
Voters deserve to know origins of secret money in elections
Washington, DC (July 17, 2012) – Twice this week, the U.S. Senate refused to allow full debate on the DISCLOSE Act, which would require complete disclosure of spending on big-money advertising in candidate elections. Twice, the Senate failed to invoke cloture, the procedural motion that requires 60 votes before the Senate can even consider legislation.
“Huge sums of secret money are flooding into our elections, and without full disclosure the voters won’t know who is trying to buy influence,” said Elisabeth MacNamara, national President of the League of Women Voters. “Secret money should have no place in our elections, but we all know it is there, drowning out the voices of everyday Americans.”
“Twice this week, our elected leaders in Washington, the men and women who had the power and opportunity to help, failed to take up the DISCLOSE Act. They decided that they didn’t even want to debate this important issue,” MacNamara said. “Instead of talking about how they could help voters understand where all of this secret money is coming from, they decided to kill the bill without any debate. This is a sad day for voters and America’s democracy.”
“The League supports the DISCLOSE Act of 2012 because we believe that Americans deserve all the information they can get before they vote,” said MacNamara. “The DISCLOSE Act builds on disclosure requirements already approved by the Supreme Court in Citizens United when it said that disclosure is important to ‘providing the electorate with information.’”
“The League and its partners in the voting rights community will continue to push for passage of DISCLOSE because secret campaign money undermines the role of the voter and corrupts the election process. Tell us where the money is coming from and let the voters decide. The DISCLOSE Act is an important step towards eliminating secret money,” concluded MacNamara.