– John McCain and the GOP protect the sleazy, negative campaign ads run by corporations and shady interest groups as Democrats respond to the U.S. Supreme Court’s outrageous Citizens United v. FEC ruling –
Few thinking people took Keating Five Senator John McCain seriously as a reformist when he joined Sen. Russ Feingold in co-sponsoring campaign finance reform in the 1990s.
They were proven right repeatedly over the years, but this latest piece of evidence this week that John McCain is an unprincipled liar ought to have Feingold renoucing this corrupt pile of garbage called McCain.
The DISCLOSE bill would, as Open Congress notes, “require organizations involved in political campaigning to disclose the identity of the large donors, and to reveal their identities in any political ads they fund. It would also bar foreign corporations, government contractors and TARP recipients from making political expenditures. Notably, the bill would exempt all long-standing, non-profit organizations with more than 500,000 members from having to disclose their donor lists.”
The bill passed the House in June, and Democrats may try to bring it to a vote again in September.
President Obama and Democratic leaders hoped the bill would, among other things, help undo the damage of the recent Citizens United ruling, in which the Supreme Court threw out limits on corporate political spending. And since the bill merely called to publicize who was putting money into politics, rather than limit that money, Obama and the Democrats hoped they could peel off enough Republican votes to break a filibuster. They were wrong. Not one Republican voted to proceed with debate–not even after the Democrats modified the bill, in order to address GOP arguments that it would treat unions differently from other groups.
This would be a fine moment to ponder, once again, the way the filibuster thwarts democracy. Fifty-seven of the Senate’s one hundred members think the bill should pass, but they can’t act because a minority of senators has the power to thwart action.
But the real story today is the hypocrisy of what used to be the Republican Party’s moderate, sensible wing.
And then there is John McCain himself. A decade ago, McCain did more than put his name on a major piece of campaign finance legislation. He made the fight against money in politics a personal crusade, energizing supporters with statements like this one he made during a Virginia speech:
I have called for the reform of campaign finance practices that have sacrificed our principles to the demands of big money special interests. I have spoken against … [APPLAUSE] … I have spoken against forces that have turned politics into a battle of bucks instead of a battle of ideas, and for that, my friends, and for that, my friends, I have been accused of disloyalty to my party.
Nobody is accusing McCain of that anymore.