Obama’s Lack of Disclosure

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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.”

In attacking Republicans who oppose this campaign finance Kabuki, Obama audaciously feigned alarm over the proliferation of fake grassroots groups with innocuous-sounding names. Special interests, he complained, “can hide behind a name like ‘Citizens for a Better Future,’ even if a more accurate name would be ‘Companies for Weaker Oversight.'” Let me supply some more examples that won’t appear on Obama’s teleprompter anytime soon:

How about “Consumers Organized for Reliable Electricity”? That’s the front group White House senior adviser David Axelrod formed to shill for a massive utility tax hike championed by Commonwealth Edison in Chicago.

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  • Chiquelets

    Michelle, as always, is spot-on in her commentary. She takes a rather confusing issue and clarifies it.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/FaceofTruth DogWithoutSlippers

    Deception is the name of the game! Yes, transparent – we can see right through you!~

  • Cuban Refugee

    "Disclose" falls into the same black hole as "transparency," and joins "let me be clear about that," "open door" and "fairness" in the lexicon of burgeoning tyranny. It started before the election with "hope and change," and "post-racial presidency." Is it not time that we hold these duplicitous rulers accountable for their lies? We must wonder … how do they keep a straight face when they mold their nefarious schemes to make them palatable to American citizens? How can they face their constituents, their families, their own visages in the mirror? How do people who sold their country, and their souls, to the devil sleep at night?

    • donnamarie

      It is so sad, isn't it that the American public really does not get this? When the Supreme Court struck down the McCain Feingold act earlier this year, a friend of mine-a high school social studies teacher-asked me how I felt about the Supreme Court favoring large corporations. I had to explain that the case was not about large corporations (BTW that are owned by little shareholders-like your pension, bozo) but about freedom of speech. Although I have not discussed this recent attempt to tie down the riff raff, I am fairly certain that he won't understand this either.

      • Stephen D.

        He may not understand it because he may never get to see such a post as this. Doubtful even Fox will cover this with as much clarity. We KNOW the MSM won't cover this. So how can we expect most folks to find out unless we take them by the hand and show them articles like this one? I wish FPM had a Prime Time TV Show. I'd invest!

        • donnamarie

          He actually told me that he tries not to read the papers, etc. and that when he does he reads the New York Times. I did have a few comments about that. He is a nice man but, probably, uninformed-and he is teaching our children.

      • ajnn

        The whole idea that 'McCain-Feingold is about big money is a scam.

        If the public wants corporations out of political debate this can be established quite easily at the state level. This is about WHICH big-money corporations can leverage their poilitical influence with money.

        McCain-Feingold picks favorites among corporations on a 'free-speech' issue. This is clearly un-american.

        Do it the right way (the american way) or not at all. No one has a 'right' to the benefits and privileges of a corporate model. A state can require a corporation to give up a voice in political debate as a cost to exercise the privilege of the corporate format. Either that, or let people speak through their own property, the corporation, just the same as they do in person.

        We forget: corporations are largely owned and run by people; american citizens.