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Senate GOP objects to campaign finance bill for second straight day

“This bill is not a panacea. It will not overturn Citizens United, and it will not stop the tsunami of money pouring in from corporations,” Sen. Al Franken, a member of the group of liberal lawmakers who introduced the bill, said. “But it will require that all that special interest money be disclosed publicly, and that will have tremendously beneficial effects for this country. We may not be able to stop the tidal wave of unlimited cash, but we can, and we should, at a minimum know who is writing those big checks.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, pulled the same quotation when addressing the Senate on Monday.

“In reality it is a modest bill in comparison to the size of the problem, but it is a first step toward bringing some sensibleness back to the elections,” she said. “This bill simply ensures the public has access to information about the funding behind television ads and other election materials.”

“The Senate ought to disclose to the American people what its budget plan is for this country,” he said. “Those are the bread and butter requirements of any Senator.”

The DISCLOSE Act has 39 co-sponsors, all Democrats. It needed 60 votes to pass, but fell seven votes short. The Senate tried passing a beefed-up version of the DISCLOSE Act last session, but it fell one vote short of the 60-vote threshold when all Republicans objected.

Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 07/17/2012 - 03:51 pm.

    It’s no one’s business

    who gives what to whom. And it’s not the role of government to force anyone to disclose that information.

    Given the Left’s history of harrassing and even physically attacking people who give to the wrong causes or the wrong candidate, the donor’s right to privacy takes precedence.

  2. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 07/17/2012 - 04:41 pm.

    Republicans fighting hard to keep it alive

    Oh why, oh why, would the politicians want to stop their sugar daddies in any way. They talk about how political donation transparency would stifle free speech. What transparency really stifles is corruption. There is nothing like political opaqueness to light the fires of corruption. Big money was given the green light to go wild with the Supreme Court’s Citizens United bill. For starters the bill is grossly misnamed. The citizens are not at all united about the bill. It should be called “How the Wealthy Took Over the Political System”. Time is going to judge this Supreme Court decision very harshly. It will be called a turning point in our democracy. It only exacerbates political gridlock, a lack of working for all Americans, and corruption.

  3. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 07/17/2012 - 05:45 pm.

    Of course it’s our business

    In the context of a birthday gift, or an anniversary treat, or a romantic surprise for someone, I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Tester that “who gives what to whom” doesn’t merit public scrutiny or knowledge.

    In a political and/or election context, however, it appears that Mr. Tester would sell what’s left of democracy in America to the highest, and most anonymous, donor. As usual, he provides not a shred of evidence for his “The Sky Is Falling” scenario of angry leftists attacking people who give to causes or candidates they don’t like. When he can produce some verifiable evidence that this is regularly taking place, the allegation is simply a lie, and not even a very clever one. Further, his allegation – implying that there’s some sort of legal force and precedent behind it – that a donor’s right to privacy takes precedence over disclosure is an interesting opinion, but nothing more. The SCOTUS has suggested otherwise, even in the abominable Citizens United opinion.

  4. Submitted by Sean Huntley on 07/18/2012 - 09:15 am.

    “Given the Left’s history of harrassing and even physically attacking people who give to the wrong causes or the wrong candidate, the donor’s right to privacy takes precedence.”

    Its funny, conservatives tried to use that argument in court once and were unable to provide one single verifiable incident and their claim turned out to be completely fallacious. Shocking

  5. Submitted by Mark Ohm on 07/18/2012 - 10:45 am.

    Bills don’t need 60 votes to pass

    Bills need a majority vote to pass. Bills need 60 votes to overcome what has become standard Republican holds or quiet filibustering on nearly every piece of legislation that would seem to benefit President Obama in the slightest. This is sloppy, shortcut reporting Mr. Henry and James Fallows at the Atlantic has written extensively on this topic. Add a paragraph to clarify the situation.

  6. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 07/18/2012 - 04:44 pm.

    Anonymous speech has always made me uneasy. As my mother suggested, those who refuse to attach their name to statements they make are really cowards, and do not have the courage of their own convictions. They “throw their tomatoes and run,” in Mom’s plain speech imagery. Rather like the sick, anonymous “Comments” lists on many internet news outlets and blogs. Hiding, from their own shame.

    The Citizens United decision bothered even some of the Supreme Court justices, who advocated more transparency to counteract their sanctioning the concept that money equals speech in our political system. Only knowing who gave the money, and how much money, salvages our democratic system even minimally, in the face of that opinion and its already massive and damaging impact on our politics.


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