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

Senate to vote again on controversial campaign ad spending


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. BobH

    For the Republicans, it's NEVER a good time to reign in corporate power in Washington. Not as long as they can pander to huge corporations and rake in the dough.

    And it's just hilarious that McConnell considers this a distraction from the economy when it's exactly this sort of influence that led to the financial collapse in the first place.

    September 22, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  2. diridi

    If you have guts, just pass 1. Anti-campaign funding, 2. Anti-earmark legislation, 3. Anti-derivative enactment...4. pass Term limits on all congress and senate idiots, thugs....5. Fix CEO salaries not drawing more than presidential salaries...pass these and more corruption, no more funding for these elected idiots....thugs....Tighten Immigration to India and all muslim nations...

    September 22, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. Mesa Mick

    Of course the rethugliecants are gonna vote "NO" in a unamious block.

    That's what these obstructionists do for a living...OBSTRUCT!

    Do something patriotic for America in Nov...Vote straight (D).
    Your conscience will let you start sleeping better if you do.

    September 22, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  4. a in austin

    I have the right to know which corporations have bought which candidates. As it is now, I have the right to know who in office has been purchased by corporations. Those that are bought and paid for need to be voted out!!! And yes, the American people deserve to know this information.

    September 22, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  5. Steve- Illinois

    No Senate votes today! Big money Democratic fundraiser in New York tonight. The nations business must take a back seat to career politicians getting re-elected!

    September 22, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  6. GJ

    The GOP does not want American voters to have all the facts. They'll keep lying about the bill so that you won't know who is really funding them.

    September 22, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  7. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    Let's hear all the excuses the Republicans will think of not to support full disclosure. The GOP likes to do everything behind closed doors, with no transparency, or in "undisclosed locations" Dick Cheney style.

    September 22, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    Well, we saw what happened to Target: people asserted a "free market" response to Target supporting a particular candidate...i.e., the boycott...and it forced Target to stop supporting that candidate monetarily and greatly angered Target's shareholders at the CEO and upper echelon management. One would think that such a nice balance getting struck to negate the idiocy of the Citizens United decision and the underlying nonsense of treating corporations as though they are just like living, breathing, baby-having, family raising, home buying, hard working, VOTING human beings...that it would be right up the GOP's alley. Just watch.

    The GOPers will do everything in their power to shoot this down. Such influence being wielded by consumers, employees (who could also choose to organize and quit en masse or picket) and the middle-class in general is anathema to them. The proposition that they might have to make public their MASSIVE, indirect political campaign contributions...which generally overwhelm anything that individuals can do...frightens the living daylights out of their corporate masters. They will of course ignore the fact that it would apply to unions as well. Unless it's "this bill destroys unions entirely," then they don't care. They're angry at unions for existing at all in the first place, so it's really a non-starter for them that this would potentially limit union political influence as well.

    September 22, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  9. Cheney and Armey are a couple of Dicks

    Republicans are the worst excuse for a political party. They refuse to do anything for Americans, as they worship big business. Not a one of them deserves to be sent back to the senate. Thank God that when Americans realize the benefits of health reform, the republicans will be the minority party for a generation. As for the Fox paid blogger complaining about his health insurance premiums going up, he must have forgotten the 50+% premium increases in California before health reform passed. Thanks to President Obama and the democrats, that did not happen.

    September 22, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  10. katiec

    The hypocrasy of the republicans never cease to amaze me.
    They have been playing political games for 22 months, propaganding, lying, obstructing, any and every dirty trick they can for the sake of trying to regain power and win this next election.
    Of course they are against transparency. It would tell the American people how deep they are in bed with Wall St, big business and lobbyists.
    The republicans have abandoned all integrity, honor and responsibility for their win at any cost goal.
    They are not representing us or our country.

    September 22, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  11. annie s

    Can someone explain to me just WHY the Republicans are against this one? Why are they so afraid to let us know who backs them financially....and why would anyone in their right mind vote for these people?

    September 22, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  12. Kathy

    Typical! I don't know of any Tea Party candidate who is willing to interview and actually answer mainstream media questions. I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat. But I see NO Tea Party candidate offer any viable thoughts and ideas on solving the real problems facing our country.

    September 22, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  13. Bob in PA

    Every American should have an equal Freedom of Speech regarding politics. The Dems just feel that some people are more equal than others. Saying groups or businesses that are regulated or have directly madated costs created by the government should have no or limited say is un-American.

    September 22, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  14. rob

    If CNN would report the details of what exactly is in this bill their readers might just learn what I learned about it by getting my news from more fair and ballanced sources. This bill is tilted heavily in favor of the special interest groups that support the DEMS, plain and simple.

    September 22, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  15. glib lib

    Every problem this country has can be solved, only by first passing sweeping campaign finance reform. You get the politicians out of the pockets of the corporations and special interest groups and then maybe, they may start to work for the American people.

    September 22, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. sonny chapman

    To quote George W., "Are you Republicans with the lil' guy are against him". This vote will tell.

    September 22, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  17. Doc

    Since it requires the outing of corporations, unions, and special interest groups I don't see what Republicans think Democrats have to gain except for the fact that the Republicans will be seen as wanting to keep the public in the dark.

    September 22, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  18. Bill

    You can't do that!
    Only republicans get to pay hardball!

    September 22, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  19. Snow

    Of course the demorats have excluded their big contributors like unions but want the Republicans to identify theirs. Make it everyone identifies contributors or no one identifies them.

    September 22, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  20. IEK

    If corporations and unions are going to have the freedom to speak, they should at least have to show their faces when they do it. Not hide behind groups with vague names like "Americans for Prosperity".

    September 22, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  21. #Omegaraiel

    How dare the dems try to expose us as corporate stooges! Mitch all but said that by admitting it (the truth) would Dems an edge

    September 22, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  22. Iowa Chris

    I saw a new commercial on Morning Joe today that caught my attention. It was called "Mourning in America" and was paid for by Citizens for the Republic. I googled it and it is a PAC fromed in the 70's by Ronald Reagan. Very nasty commercial.

    September 22, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  23. stufit

    If it is supported by the corrupt Democrat liberal Congresss and the inept, incompetent, corrupt president it must still let unions get away with it, but stop Republican organizations. It is the liberal way.

    September 22, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  24. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    Hey, everybody, let's get a petition going to IMPEACH every Congress person who blocks this bill. While we are at it, let's IMPEACH those Supreme Court Justises who started this mess. Don't you Republicans see that you are the reason this country is so screwed up. Let's see some viable solutions. Maybe we should postpone the elections until you folks have some viable solutions to these very difficult problems. The problem is you and either you guys 'fix' your thinking or consider living out on the street along with the 43.6 million Americans that are victums of your Reaganomics. By the way, I all ready know who's behind all this crap that's been going on for 30 years now.

    September 22, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  25. greg in jax

    but then how will billionaires be able to buy elections.

    September 22, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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