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Dem distraction: Senate to vote on Orwellian DISCLOSE Act…again; Update: Fails…again

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By Michelle Malkin  •  July 16, 2012 09:26 AM


Always look under the Astroturf mat.

Senate Democrats have failed to pass a budget in nearly 1,200 days.

But they are carving out time today to vote on the loophole-ridden, incumbency protection racket, masquerading as “campaign finance reform,” dubbed the DISCLOSE Act.

Wait a minute. Didn’t they already vote on the DISCLOSE Act?

Why, yes. Yes, they did.

They voted on it in September 2010 before the midterms. And it failed to meet the 60-vote threshold.

I told you two years ago in July 2010 why the DISCLOSE Act was a sham:

You know when a politician starts a sentence with “frankly,” he’s about to lie to your face. The same principle applies to campaign finance legislation dubbed the “DISCLOSE Act.” The voter’s instinctive reaction should be: What are they trying to hide now? Drafted out of public view with left-wing lobbyists and rammed through Congress after bypassing committee hearings, this bum bill would have been better named the CLOSEDDOOR Act.

At a Rose Garden press conference on Monday, President Obama decried the influence of “shadow groups” on elections and urged the Senate to pass the “reform” sponsored by N.Y. Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer. But the loophole-ridden package exempts large nonprofits with 500,000 or more members. Behemoth labor unions get preferential treatment. Bradley Smith, former Federal Elections Commission chairman, noted that the law places radical speech-squelching restrictions on companies’ ability to run independent political ads: “(I)f you’re a company with a government contract of over $10 million (like more than half of the top 50 U.S. companies) or if you’re a company with more than 20 percent foreign shareholders, you can’t even mention a candidate in an ad for up to a full year before the election. … There are no similar prohibitions for unions representing government contractors or unions with foreign membership.”

GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell put it more starkly during Tuesday’s debate before the Senate cloture vote on the bill: The DISCLOSE Act, he said, is a “transparent attempt to rig the fall elections.” At bottom, McConnell diagnosed correctly, this is a jobs-protection bill for entrenched incumbents more interested in protecting their hides than protecting the Constitution. While the cloture vote fell three votes short of the needed 60 on Tuesday, Schumer vowed to resurrect the issue “again and again and again until we pass it.”

…Team Obama and their allies on Capitol Hill have some nerve gnashing their teeth about transparency after two years of backdoor kickbacks, secret Big Labor deals, C-SPAN camera evasion, White House disclosure-ducking coffeehouse meetings, and sunlight-shirking holiday and midnight floor votes. And while they preached about America’s right to know and posed as crusaders for open access, Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate continued to stonewall on public hearings for health care rationing czar Donald Berwick — Obama’s recess-appointed head of Medicare and Medicaid.

A White House spokesman called the battle over the DISCLOSE Act a “defining moment for the public.” Nah. It’s just another example of the Democratic majority’s endless hide-and-seek hypocrisy.

Related from former FEC chariman Bradley Smith: A proposed campaign-finance law attempts to scare and regulate opponents into silence.

More: McConnell vows a filibuster today. He talked to Mark Levin about disclosure theater here.

The Soros-backed Center for American Progress is aggressively pushing the DISCLOSE Act today on Twitter. Tells you all you need to know.

I’ll update the post with roll call vote and predictable shrieking from Sen. Schumer.

***

More on the not-so-full disclosure distraction from CJ Ciaramella at the Free Beacon:

The Senate is expected to vote Monday on the DISCLOSE Act, a Democrat-sponsored bill requiring more disclosure of political activity. The bill faces fierce opposition from Senate Republicans who say it’s an attempt to target and harass donors.

Senate Democrats introduced a new version of the bill last Tuesday evening, but a provision requiring political ads to reveal their funders was pulled from the latest version at the behest of unions, senior GOP aides say.

The DISCLOSE Act of 2012, first introduced in March, had two major provisions: requiring politically active super PACs, unions, and corporations to disclose the identity of donors who contribute $10,000 or more; and requiring electioneering ads to disclose who is funding them.

But the latter so-called “stand by your ad” provision is absent from the version of the bill on which the Senate will vote. A spokesman for Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.), who introduced the bill, said the provision was nixed in response to GOP complaints.

“The ‘stand by your ad’ provision was dropped in response to objections we’ve heard from folks on the other side of the aisle,” the spokesman said. “It’s now targeted specifically at requiring disclosure.”

However, a senior Republican aide told the Free Beacon the provision was dropped due to union pressure.

***

Update: The Orwellian DISCLOSE Act fails…again:

Senate Democrats on Monday lost another attempt to pass legislation forcing donors of groups that bankroll most election ads to be revealed. But Democrats, led by New York Sen. Charles Schumer, pledged to hold the Senate floor hostage and continue the debate well into the night.

The DISLCOSE Act, which was dealt the same fate in the Senate in 2010, failed to overcome a key procedural vote on entirely partisan lines, 51-44. Democrats will push for another vote as early as Tuesday after holding a “midnight vigil” to protest the GOP filibuster of the measure…

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