July 27th, 2010
03:57 PM ET
4 years ago

Republicans block campaign finance disclosure bill

Washington (CNN) - Senate Republicans narrowly blocked Democratic campaign finance disclosure legislation in the Senate Tuesday after raising concerns the bill would curb freedom of speech and tilt campaign spending in favor of the Democrats.

A 57-41 vote fell short of the 60 votes needed for the Senate to cut off debate on the measure. Republicans unanimously opposed the measure while Democrats solidly backed it.

Democrats said the legislation - known as the DISCLOSE Act - would bring greater transparency to campaign contributions from corporations, labor unions, and other special interests, which were able to ramp up political spending in the wake of the Supreme Court's controversial ruling in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission earlier this year.

The bill would require organizations paying for political advertising to disclose the names of their top donors in the ads, similar to what now is required of political candidates for federal office.

Republicans accused Democrats of trying to preserve their majorities in the House and Senate by skewing the rules in the favor of labor unions, trial lawyers, and other Democratic-leaning groups. Democrats denied that was their motive, and made certain changes to the bill last week aimed at satisfying GOP critics.

The Republicans were not mollified.

Full story

Updated: 5:06 p.m.


Filed under: Campaign finance • Senate
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Tulsa

    Once again, Republicans prove they are on the side of big business and power, NOT the average AMERICAN.
    Republicans are the most un-American of all of us.
    Vote the REPUBLICANS OUT!!!!!!

    July 27, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. Tulsa

    Freedom of speech?
    BULL HOCKEY.
    They are covering up who pays their way. Plain and simple.
    Republicans LIE.

    July 27, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "after raising concerns the bill would curb freedom of speech and tilt campaign spending in favor of the Democrats. "

    Translation: "After mischaracterizing the legislation to make it sound like an x-files-esque Democrat conspiracy to tilt things in Dem favor, GOPers were able to yet again abuse the filibuster rules to maintain the current advantage enjoyed by corporations and have earned themselves a one-week vacation from climbing under CEOs' desks."

    July 27, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. Thomas

    Typical. Mo Money. Corporations already dwarf unions. This is just a GOP drive to swamp the campaigns with dirty money.

    July 27, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. Russ

    Republican says: Who's pushing the legislation? Oh, the Democrats, I don't need to read it of debate it, my vote is no, no, no!!!

    July 27, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    Did anyone expect anything different in the senate? How can you be for something that would allow china or saudi arabia to flat out buy an election.

    July 27, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. Tom-Vermillion, Ohio

    Could somebody find those Republicans who blocked this legislation and have them explain as to why the American People want this legislation to be blocked?

    July 27, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  8. Jon in Rochester NY

    This bill only asks them to disclose who is financing their campaign. How could this favor the Democrats? You can only conclude that the GOP (party of the rich and powerful) must be afraid to let the public know who is financing their campaigns. If we knew where the money was coming from, we might be able to figure out that they aren't working in our best interest. That would be a shame!!!!

    We, the people, should have the right to know what corporation foriegn entity, or lobbiest group is buying a politicians vote by paying for their campaign ads.

    July 27, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. Ben in Texas

    Once again, Repugnant evil rears its ugly mug. What possible reason would they have to object to transparency in election advertising, other than to shield their cronies from being exposed for lies and dirty tricks? They have, in conjunction with the Extreme Court, made it possible and likely that foreigners and big business will spread lies and assassinate characters in all subsequent elections, and no one will be able to assign responsibility for those treasonous actions.

    Thanks, once again, Repugnants. You have put another nail in the coffin of democracy.

    July 27, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    What else would you expect from republicans? Having foreign countries participate in our elections is all well and good to republicans. Companies are looking for the best candidate money can buy and republicans are all for that. Since they're in the back pocket of big business, expect to see a few Manchurian candidates from the GOBP.

    July 27, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  11. Paul from Phoenix

    As long as unions are not considered equal to businesses in the eyes of campaign finance reform, the GOP should block the bill.

    And anyone who thinks the dems would pass sweeping reform without there being a distinct advantage for themselves is an idiot.

    Dutch, I am looking for you!

    July 27, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  12. Too True For You

    Yeah, God forbid we should shine a light on how the cockroaches get paid off.

    July 27, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. sammieb51

    The GOP, always on your employer's side of the street, fighting diligently for their rights as individuals, for truth, justice and the American way ... for your employer. Suddenly having to disclose where political funding comes from violates freedom of speech rights - for who, your employer, the big Corporation in the SKY?

    July 27, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. David

    Stupid corrupt GOP.

    July 27, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. Poser

    The GOP has an excuse and a real reason.
    The excuse:
    It will curb freedom of speech.
    The real reason:
    It will tilt campaign spending in favor of the Democrats.

    Dumping millions of dollars into campaign advertising isn't the same thing as free speech. Corporations are not citizens. They are businesses who may employ thousands of people many of which may not support the position paid for with the millions of dollars.

    Without the huge corporate campaign advertising dollars, the GOP will need to gather a larger percentage of it's funding from grass roots support (individual citizens). This becomes a relative disadvantage for campaign spending for the GOP.

    July 27, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. Stephen King

    Thanks, Republicans! Nothing like Corporate USA continuing to own the government, and no transparency being required on the matter.

    WHY must you obstruct everything going on? Is winning in November that important to you...you are willing to sink the nation to do it?

    July 27, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  17. witch56

    I am so very sick of the opposition that the gop is doing. And as for the democrats that are siding with the do nothing group YOU ARE IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 27, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  18. Rick in AZ

    How about all Senators and Congresspersons wearing patches like NASCAR drivers? We can then see their sponsors.

    July 27, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  19. Issano

    The polls are not telling the truth...who are they polling? All of my Democrat friends are committing themselves to voting in November. Friends who are Independent, are also planning to vote and will caucas with the democrats. The Republicans will be surprised once again....losers.

    July 27, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  20. Liz the First

    This shows what kind of twisted alternate reality the rethugs live in. or just what liars they are! a rethug president appoints conservatives to the SCOTUS who rule in favor of huge corporations who back rethugs, and the rethugs in congress say they're voting against this because it favors DEMOCRATS???????????????????? how much more disengenuous can these people be???????????????? how many times and in how many ways can they prove they care nothing for the American people and everything for big business??? if this horrendous court decision isn't mitigated in some way, our form of government will be destroyed and i shudder to think what will replace it.

    July 27, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. Archie Bunker

    Democrats trying to change the rules for victory at all cost !!

    July 27, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  22. Former Republican - Now Independent

    Yeah that Freedom of Speech thing means so much to Republicans.

    Howsabout they come clean and admit they don't want to loose their big business donation advantage to the Dems.

    Who know? If this bill were to pass GOP candidates might have to listen to voters and not to donors.

    July 27, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. T'SAH from Virginia

    Why worry!!!

    You RepubliCAN'Ts are supposed to take over the HOUSE this November because you are "BAD TO THE BONES"!!! LOL

    Then once you DO – if you DO (and that's a BIG IF) – it will be more of the SAME of YESTERYEAR with --
    NO future,
    NO improvements,
    NO solutions,
    NO suggestions,
    NO sense, and
    MO' MONEY, MO' MONEY for the RICH while the middle class sink to the levels of EIC (earned income credit) which will soon need to be raised to $50,000 because you consider making $30,000 and less is POOR – when at one time making $50-60,000 was considered middle class..... (NOT anymore)!!!

    WOW, I never thought about that – raise the EIC level so lower middle class hard-working Americans can get MO' MONEY, MO' MONEY' and 'MO MONEY!!!

    July 27, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. normajean

    Oh sure...since when have the Repubs worried about "freedom of speech"? Even though I can't see just yet what it is, I'm very sure that a campaign financial disclosure bill would hurt the Repubs more than it would the Democrats , if not they wouldn't have fought it. The Republican party has stated that they are now happy to take on the tag"Party Of No" .
    Obviously because their squirrely little minds have figured out how to USE it. They will now claim it was a good stance because it blocked all of the bad Democratic actions.{Such as health care ,unemployment funds,assisitance for small busnesses,putting a clamp on Wall street,} Real patriots those Repubs.{NOT}

    July 27, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  25. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    @ Paul from Phoenix

    I guess BP giving unprecendented amounts of cash to Joe Barton is okay with you eh?

    July 27, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
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