DISCLOSE Act Fails in Senate
Bars bill from being passed before mid-term elections
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 7/27/2010 4:58:41 PM
The move essentially bars the bill from being voted on or passed before the next federal election. The House had passed its version of the bill last month.
DISCLOSE (Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections) was essentially a reaction to the Supreme Court's decision that a ban on direct corporate or union funding of electioneering ads (vote for or against this candidate) was an unconstitutional regulation of political speech.
The bill even had a provision that would have made it go into effect immediately, rather than having to wait for Federal Election Commission rules implementing it, so that it could apply to the mid-term elections.
The ACLU, which opposed the bill, commended the Senate for rejecting what it called "well-intentioned but overly broad legislation."
The Center for Competitive Politics, which also opposed the bill, called it a victory for free political speech, but said it was not time to rest on any laurels. "This bill wasn't about disclosure, it was an attempt by the majority to legislate an electoral advantage fewer than 100 days before the midterm elections," said Center for Competitive Politics Chairman Bradley A. Smith in a statement. "Senators who support free speech in politics must remain vigilant to make sure these campaign finance restrictions aren't pushed through on a later vote or in a lame duck session."
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