July 27th, 2010
03:57 PM ET
8 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. IKHAN

    what else can Americans expect from this party of Obstructionism.
    They wouldn't let any good happen to this nation. They just want to claw back to power no matter what.
    American public?who cares about them??

    July 27, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. SayWhat

    Way to go GOP! You just keep looking better every day. Can't wait for November to let you know that your day is done.

    July 27, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. Dumbasrocks [R]s

    That's precious: "....tilt campaign spending in favor of the Democrats..." That is, after so many years of the corporate-driven spending tilt in favor of the [R]s. Now the [R]s are soooo concerned about fairness. What a deluded bunch of neo-neanderthals.

    July 27, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  4. Cosmo

    Rick in AZ – Great comment LOL

    July 27, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. Marie MD

    Speaking of finance reform. Every time I hear "Americans want this or that" from the rethugs I want to throw something at the TV. Who are they talking to again?
    We are also concentrating on the rich (trying to stay rich) and their taxes but nobody is paying attention to President Obama's proposal to EXTEND the "Making Work Pay" tax credit which is for the little guy. Just wait because we know that the party of NO is going to against the President and the citizens of the US, the middle class and the working poor, and our payroll checks are going to look smaller and nobody is going to know what hit us except less money.

    July 27, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. Naqib

    Thank you Republicans for stoping the Dems ram another high cost union slanted load of crud down the american throat.

    They know they are done in November... so they will continue to do this... just ask Pelosi why we can't pass the defense money or deployed troops need because she keeps putting Union pay offs in it.

    July 27, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  7. BeverlyNC

    Of course it did. Do you really think Republicans want the People to know which and how many corporations buy their votes? Republicans are corporate-lovers and bow at their altar of greed and worker abuse. They hate the American worker and will side with the corporations every single time over the working people of our country.
    They blocked unemployment insurance benefits 8 times, voted against equal pay for women, voted against letting the JOBS bill get to the Senate floor for a vote, and have spent the past 2 months defending BP, apologizing to them for President Obama making them pay for the disaster they caused, and want to protect BP from paying for the cleanup. Old Boehner thinks the taxpayers should pay for BP's criminal negligence in destroying our Gulf.

    If you want corporate America to have all the power and run our Congress, then vote for the Republicans. If you want more legislation to help the middle class and to put the PEOPLE first again and back in power of our government, then vote for the Democrats. They are the ONLY leaders working to restore our nation, create jobs, create consumer protections, fight for higher wages, create penalities for companies who send our jobs overseas, and stop illegal worker hiring with real immigration reform.

    All Republicans want to do is keep letting in illegal workers so businesses can have cheap slave labor, keep sending our jobs overseas, union bust, layoff workers every time they want to make their bottom line look better, and abuse consumers with ridiculous interest rates, fees, and corrupt policies. Republicans have also said they want to eliminate Social Security, Medicare, and all social programs like free lunch programs for poor children. Republicans are SO "country first" arent' they? They want to make the rich richer, eliminate the middle class, and then stomp all over the poor with their "let them eat cake" attitudes.

    I support President Obama and the Democrats who are working hard for the PEOPLE and have been doing so despite constant opposition and game-playing with our lives by the Republicans.

    Vote for America and the People – fill up Congress with Democrats if you want America to prosper and see the middle class and working people matter most.

    July 27, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  8. Peter s

    Repubs are wholly owned susidiary of the the lobbyists they are there for themselves!!! vote all out and teach them a lesson!

    July 27, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. Sniffit

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

    Why? Unions =/= large for-profit corporations. They are countelss substantive differences. They are formed and organized in a different manner, subject to myriad different rules and regulations and serve a vastly different public purpose, etc. Moreover, they wield far less power than the general sea of corporate entities in that there are, in the grand scheme of things, relatively few unionized industries. Moreover, they wield far less liquid capital in comparison. The reality is, the question comes down to a choice:

    Is this about knee-jerk equal treatment or providing a level playing field?

    If you side with the former, you're likely a GOPer/conservative hiding behind ideological platitudes to avoid addressing reality. As for the latter, THAT is the whole point, and in order to level the playing field between uber-powerful corporate America and the organizations that represent workers, it is implicitly necessary to treat them differently...because they ARE different.

    July 27, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. NYer

    Anybody who has a problem with this legislation is a suspect for receiving tons of funds from lobbyists who represent organizations that want to influence American voters and the outcome of this fall's election TO THEIR ADVANTAGE. We, the American voters, want to know which politician is receiving contributions from whom. We are entitled to have this information to protect our true democracy. Just ask why any politician should be afraid of this legislation? What are they trying to hide from us?

    July 27, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. Dennis1020

    The Republicans voted "No" on a piece of legislation?!? They voted "No" to campaign finance reform that would prevent big business from buying votes?!? I'm shocked, simply shocked–NOT!

    July 27, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  12. dig dug

    last i checked doesnt the obama administration have google's former lobbyist working for them... and wasnt it exposed that he was giving insider info to the new google lobbyist but the obama administration did nothing about it?

    i thought obama said he didnt like private companies....

    July 27, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  13. hypocricnnation

    Oh Gee! HypocriCNN Can't Be Surprised That Republicans Didn't Want To Pass Something That Would Clearly Disadvantage Them?

    July 27, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  14. DianeRPCFL

    I haven't figured out how disclosure supresses "Freedom of Speech", unless of course you're a loud-mouthed plutocratic big spender that doesn't want anyone knowing you're bankrolling Republicorporatist. As usual, Big Money and Big Liars seem to always gravitate to the Rightwing Corporatocratic Party, aka – Republicans.

    July 27, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  15. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Seems reasonable to mandate where the $ is from. Of course the GOP has A LOT to hide.

    July 27, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  16. Thomas

    The GOP base is so mindless! They cheer on the Republicans for blocking a bill that would explain who finances their 'socialist' 'death panel' brainwashing campaigns? What is the drawback to knowing who finances a campaign? There are only drawbacks if you ARE TRYING TO HIDE SOMETHING! Wake up! I guess for the TeaBaggers and Repugs, ignorance is bliss.

    July 27, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  17. louise

    This is exactly what those damn repubs spend their time on, nothing that is constructive for the country, obstruct, filibuster, slander good people like Sherrod , along with Fox News. They have ruined our country with illicit wars big spending, no regulation on big oil... everywhere you look there is destruction created by them.

    July 27, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  18. LBDC

    It's amazing to me how full of hatred the Dems are. I think it goes back to the "Bush Stole the Election" crazies that have never gotten over it. The Dems should ask themselves why so many corporations would back Republicans and not Democrats. It's because the Dems have so often tried to destroy the free market while simultaneously profiting from there misguided legislation designed to curb success.

    Personally, I am tickled pink that this legislation failed.

    July 27, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  19. teena

    so, just yesterday I read an article regarding the re-distribution of wealth under the prior republican administrations from the MIDDLE class to the top 1% of the country.The middle class may be all but extinct by 2030!
    So, now the rich have even more money to send jobs overseas and fund candidates that make them even richer.
    But, the republicans keep crying whenever their precious corporations are threatened all in the name of democracy (rather than the true socialism of redistribution that THEY have been supporting!)

    July 27, 2010 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  20. Yeahimright

    Purge the Senate. It is your civil duty, It doesn't matter who is good or bad, Lets vote them all out occasionally as a matter of recourse. Its not like a bunch of newbs could do any worse of a job. Oh and just so the GOP knows. The origin of your campaign funding and any inequality with the democrats that would have resulted is meaningless if you are turning your voters against you. I would wager that alot of conservative republicans found this vote unsatifactory as well. We the people want a new Senate and a complete rehash of each piece of legislation individually.Put up or get shut up. The choice is ours.

    July 27, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  21. Thomas

    LBDC....Dems aren't full of hatred, they are full of disgust for a Republican party which only cares about the rich powerful elite. The issue is not that Dems are jealous of Republicans getting funding from corporations, it's that the Republicans don't want to disclose that they are receiving these funds. Did you ever think to ask yourself why they don't want to disclose this information? If you are so proud of the fact that these corporations support the GOP, why wouldn't you want it to be public knowledge? Wake up! They want to hide who is paying them to BRAINWASH people just like you!

    July 27, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  22. Ron

    Come on. Are you REALLY surprised at this? A John Roberts Supreme Court ruled corporations have the same rights as Americans! Well, corporations can buy politicians, but they can't buy MY VOTE! I'm voting Democrat from top to bottom!!! Screw me? No, screw you big money!

    July 27, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  23. jim

    The measure would bar political spending by companies with more than $10 million in government contracts and institutions that haven’t repaid money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program passed in 2008.

    They have lost their freedom of speech.

    July 27, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  24. Stephen King

    LBDC said, "The Dems should ask themselves why so many corporations would back Republicans and not Democrats."

    Good question, really. Why would corporations...to pick one, let's say...oh, BP...back Republicans and not Democrats? Bad example? What about Exxon, who got a $500 million gift from the conservative justices on the Supreme Court a few years ago...money snatched right out of Alaskans' hands. So, sure...why WOULD, indeed, a corporation back a Republican and not a Democrat? And what does this tell us about which party we should be backing, and why something like "disclosure" would've been a good thing?

    July 27, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  25. gt

    if scott brown voted aganist it ,,, it stinks....

    July 27, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
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