September 22nd, 2010
01:35 PM ET
4 years ago

Senate to vote again on controversial campaign ad spending

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Washington (CNN) - The Senate will vote Thursday whether to take up a hot-button campaign finance reform bill. The measure is designed to bring more transparency to campaign ad spending by corporations, unions and other independent groups.

Republicans unanimously blocked a similar effort just over a month ago and a top Senate GOP leadership aide said Wednesday he doesn't expect any Republican defections this time.

Known as the DISCLOSE Act, the Democratic bill is a response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that lifted decades-old restrictions on corporate and union political ad spending. The bill requires entities that pay for political advertising to indentify themselves in the ads.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell accused Democrats of playing politics by scheduling the vote in the waning days of the Senate session and just weeks before the midterm elections.

"In the middle of the worst recession in memory, the Democrat leadership has decided to spend the next two days on the same failed, partisan campaign spending bill aimed at giving Democrats a political edge," said McConnell.

McConnell and other Republicans also argue the bill would violate free speech rights.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that when the Supreme Court ruled in the Citizens United vs. FEC case, it "changed 100 years of precedents in the United States which in the past had totally prevented corporations from being involved in federal elections."

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, the author of the bill, said Wednesday Democrats would make changes to the measure to attract GOP support. Schumer said Democrats would agree to push back the implementation date so it doesn't impact the current campaign cycle.


Filed under: Campaign finance • Senate
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Ben in Texas

    The Disclose Act may be one of the most important pieces of legislation in years. Under current law, Osama bin Laden or Rupert Murdoch or the king of Saudi Arabia can contribute to campaign advertising, and no one will ever know, except those who received the money.

    Apparently, it's the Repugnant Party that expects to receive money from foreigners and enemies of America, because they are the ones putting up a fuss about these folks having to reveal who they are. That's the party that always says, "Well, if you don't have something to hide, why are you complaining about your rights being violated?" To them, I now say the same thing.

    September 22, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    This is no different than the recent controversy over the Islamic Center in Washington with claims the money may be coming from terrorist and Americans wanted to know. You can't cherry pick this one as Republicans are trying to do.

    September 22, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  3. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    And one more little thingy here, over the years, I have voted for Republicans more than the Democrats. I see its time for me to 'fess up' and admit that I made quite a few mistakes in choosing those Republican Candidates to hold the higher offices. Thanks to technology, I now see where I went so wrong in my thinking.

    September 22, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. kayla

    mitch, you got something to hide?

    September 22, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  5. Marcus

    '"In the middle of the worst recession in memory, the Democrat leadership has decided to spend the next two days on the same failed, partisan campaign spending bill aimed at giving Democrats a political edge," said McConnell.'

    Pot calling the kettle?

    September 22, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. John Q.

    It's a bad Bill with a cute name, protecting certain larger special interests and marginalizing smaller voices; among other things. It should be called the "Keep the Incumbents in Power" Bill more than anything. There is nothing wrong with disclosing who funds what, but this goes too far, and just another back-door approach at limiting free speech. If people want real reform, they should reform the political Parties themselves in limiting their influences and money, and how they get it, not those/groups that have an opinion in some advertisement.

    September 22, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  7. scott

    So anyone in the whole wide world can put money into a campain to elect or defeat anyone who is running or trying to run for office? is this what the article says ?or did i get it wrong . the right way to see it is THEY ARE ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE NOT FOR THIER OWN PERSONAL GAINS WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 22, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  8. Tony

    *LOL* The Progressives don't seem to get it. Read the Constitution: CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW ABRIDGING THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

    Congress has no authority to limit how much you may say nor require you to say more than you want. Aside from that basic right, the details of this law also show that it blatantly violates equal protection under the law, granting numerous exemptions to organizations like unions, AARP, and the NRA to name a few. So much for disclosure...

    September 22, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  9. SayWhat

    "Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell accused Democrats of playing politics by scheduling the vote in the waning days of the Senate session and just weeks before the midterm elections."

    And Mr. McConnell, I suppose that you and your GOP corporate minions are not playing politics by blocking a voteo on this bill. What American interested in transparency and true democracy would vote against a bill that "requires entities that pay for political advertising to indentify themselves in the ads." The GOP and the kingmakers in America's board rooms, that's who.

    September 22, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  10. Allen in Hartwell GA

    When I can argue politics with a company then that company has earned the right to contribute campaign funds. But not until then.

    September 22, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
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