Just as the US Chamber of Commerce is celebrating the role of its multimillion dollar advertising campaign in turning the House of Representatives over to Republican control, a watchdog is urging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to use the lame duck session to pass the Disclose Act and force the Chamber and others to reveal their funding sources.
According to The Hill, the Chamber’s Tom Donohue took a “victory lap” in a discussion with the Chamber’s board, describing the success of the organization’s well-targeted campaign to influence House races. According to the report, Donohue said, “We spoke about the dangers of a bigger, more intrusive government, about the essential role of free enterprise to the American Dream, and about the overriding challenge of creating 20 million jobs over the next 10 years. The American people responded in a historic way.”
That is not how an organization called Protect Our Elections saw it. Calling itself an organization of organizations, its Kevin Zeese said, “It is telling that GOP Senators have been blocking a vote on legislation that simply requires disclosure of those corporations that are funding election ads. Clearly, these Senators want to keep that funding secret because they are in the pocket of Big Business. It is not a coincidence that GOP groups like the Chamber of Commerce and Karl Rove’s American Crossroads spent hundreds of millions in secret money to elect GOP Congress members who will protect the interests of Big Business rather than ordinary citizens.”
RBR-TVBR observation: The two sides of the aisle have been unable to come to terms on many issues that are less politically charged than this one. It is difficult to see any clear path to law for this bill that was struck lame well before the lame duck session. And in the end, it might not matter anyway. If nothing else, recent history has shown that no matter what laws are passed, the money will find its way into the political system somehow, somewhere, some way.
Picture: US Chamber of Commerce’s Tom Donohue