Sen. Whitehouse (D-RI) has, once again, introduced the DISCLOSE Act, a bill that would force donors giving $10,000 or more to disclose their political campaign spending to the public. Remember back in the 1990s, when Sen. McConnell (E-KY) said he didn't want hard caps on campaign contributions, but thought public disclosure of contributions would be enough? These days he tells us he's against disclosure, because TEH PUBLICZ ARE TEH BULLIEZ!!!!!, I guess. No, really: he's compared public disclosure of campaign spending to bullying, which should offend folks who've been bullied, and probably should offend bullies, too. Republican silliness about campaign finance disclosure hasn't ended with Mr. McConnell, either: Sen. Graham (R-SC) suggested not too long ago that Senators should just wear suits with their big corporate donors' logos printed on them, a la NASCAR uniforms. It was a good zinger -- Lindsey Graham's got jokes, who knew? -- but guess who voted to filibuster every single iteration of the DISCLOSE Act introduced between 2009 and 2013? Sen. Graham of South Carolina, that's who. But, as I always say: it doesn't matter what they want; it matters what we want, and USAction helps you tell your Senators to stop with the excuses and support the DISCLOSE Act.
Meanwhile, as the anniversary of our nation's Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom approaches, People for the American Way joins with Public Citizen to help you find rallies from which you may not only celebrate our nation's birthday, but agitate for the banishment of big money from American elections. Our founders did not predict that American corporations would not only gain rights of "personhood," but would run roughshod over our democratic processes, even by the end of the 19th century into which many of them lived. But our founders certainly could conceive of corporate evil, having lived, as they did, in the shadow of the Dutch East India Company, and when John Adams conceived of a "natural aristocracy," he meant an aristocracy of talent, not an aristocracy of inheritance, and certainly not an aristocracy of money. Of course there's another news hook -- the introduction of and debate over S.J.Res. 19, the proposed Constitutional amendment that would permit state and federal governments to make laws and set limits concerning political campaign finance. Mitch McConnell might call campaign spending "free speech," but we know that when the rich spend their money on campaigns, the rest of us can't be heard over the din, and the First Amendment doesn't guarantee "more" rights to folks with more money.