Two years after filibustering the DISCLOSE Act of 2010 to death and blocking any disclosure for who is funding the the independent expenditures enabled by the Supreme Court’s 5-4 Citizens United ruling, Republicans have again blocked transparency. While the 2010 version included other campaign finance reforms, the DISCLOSE Act of 2012 was pared down to only require disclosure of the funders of $10,000-and-larger independent political expenditures. But Republicans, led by former disclosure advocate Sen. Mitch McConnell (KY) still blocked the measure, incredibly calling it “nothing less than an effort by the government itself to expose its critics to harassment and intimidation.”
The vote was along party lines and Mark Pryor, to his credit, did vote for transparency. Considering that this put him up against the NRA, one of those special interest groups with a ton of cash that wants to operate without accountability from the American people, I’d say that was a pretty courageous vote. (Take a lesson Senator Pryor. Keep doing the right thing for a change, and I might stop waving my Democrats Against Pryor button around.)
This is about making sure our government can’t be bought, and who’s trying to buy our government is the business of every American citizen that cares about this country and it’s future. As Harry Reid said yesterday:
“If this flood of outside money continues, the day after the election, 17 angry old white men will wake up and realize they just bought the country. That’s a sad commentary. About 60 percent, or more, of these outside dollars [contributing $10,000 or more] are coming from these 17 people.”
Government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich, the rest of us be damned.