53 senators were in favor of a measure that would require certain political advertisers to name anyone who kicked in $10K or more to fund the ad flight. However, 53 was far short of the 60 needed to break a Republican filibuster.
The measure would have applied to corporations, unions and PACs. According to a Politico report, the bill from Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) was a second attempt, and subject to an attempt to be more palatable to Republicans by removing a requirement to include a disclosure tag on all ads and by moving the bill’s effective date to 2013 after this year’s elections are in the books.
It has mainly been the Democratic Party that has been seeking legislative remedies to counteract the results of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. This is the latest unsuccessful attempt.
This time they called out Republicans who have previously called for campaign funding reforms, prominently including BCRA co-sponsor John McCain (R-AZ). McCain had none of it, however, saying that the Democratic effort was an example of opportunism and demagoguery.
RBR-TVBR observation: Attempts to limit election spending are difficult to pass in the first place. We then watch them get picked apart piece by piece in the courts. And the gush of money into the political system only seems to strengthen regardless. This issue will never go away, until somebody finds a way to write a bill that can attract bipartisan support, avoid loopholes and be challenge-proof. If that sounds impossible, that’s because it probably IS impossible.