Coalition of organizations opposes Disclose Act


Watchdog Americans for Tax Reform is leading an effort by a coalition of watchdogs and interest groups urging the defeat of the Disclose Act, which is an attempt to address the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling that opened the faucet of political money used by such groups full throttle.

In a release, the coalition said they are asking “Congress to reject this bill on behalf of millions of taxpayers and concerned citizens whose rights to free speech are significantly threatened by the DISCLOSE Act.”

“The bill shifts the regulatory paradigm away from those who are actually funding advertisements and targets, for the first time, individual membership in a group. This inclusive treatment of organizational funding reveals that the intent of this legislation is not true disclosure – it is the intimidation of speech. It also marks a stark departure from the traditional treatment of corporations and unions by applying punitive measures to associations in the corporate form, but not to labor unions, even though these groups have traditionally been treated similarly in campaign finance law.”

RBR-TVBR observation: If organizations expect to have the same rights as citizens, they should expect the same obligations. If a citizen makes a political statement, we know who that citizen is. These organizations should likewise expect to stand by their ads, just like candidates are required to.

We have read that many corporations are leery of issue advertising – the split among consumers on ideology, party affiliation and other political dividers is one thing – and the fact that corporations want to do business with everybody regardless of where they stand is another thing, and it overrides consideration #1.

It’s only fair – if you’re going to say it, be prepared to stand by it.