Late last night, Senate Republicans blocked legislation that would have forced corporations, unions and nonprofits groups to reveal the biggest donors behind their political ads. 51 Senators voted in favor of ending debate on the DISCLOSE Act and moving toward a final vote, while 44 Senate Republicans stood in opposition, leaving the measure 9 votes short of passage, according to anachronistic Senate math.
DISCLOSE, which stands for Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections because our legislative process is built on acrostic poetry, would have required
politicians to dress like NASCAR drivers, their suits emblazoned with the logos of corporations who support themcorporations and unions to report any campaign-related spending over $10,000 within 24 hours and to name donors who give $10,000 or more for political purposes.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid voiced the obvious complaint…
"Perhaps Republicans want to shield a handful of billionaires willing to contribute nine figures to sway a close presidential election… 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."
Hollywood studios are deep into sequels these days, but 17 Angry Old White Men does not sound like a promising followup to the Sidney Lumet/Henry Ford classic.
Yet Reid makes a perceptive point. What if the policies purchased by major donors fail to provide an appropriate return on investment. How are Sheldon Adelson and Foster Friess supposed to return their politicians for a refund without a paper trail?
Photo by Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call Group/Getty Images
Tags: Harry Reid, Money, Senate, Super PACs