What Happened To Bipartisanship?
Written by Saman Marji
The DISCLOSE Act, which would have placed stricter transparency requirements on superPACs, corporations, and unions making political donations, fell victim to a Republican filibuster yesterday. In protest, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) held an all night debate session and “midnight vigil” on the Senate floor. The motion to proceed was voted down 51-44, with all Republican Senators voting against cloture.
It was a shame seeing transparency, which should be a non-partisan issue, be voted on by party line. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has previously said that “Disclosure is the best disinfectant,” while Senator John McCain (R-AZ) was once a champion of campaign finance reform. Unfortunately, both men chose party over principle and voted to keep DISCLOSE from having an up or down vote.
McCain himself made a strong argument for the bill he voted to kill, writing with Sen. Whitehouse (D-RI), DISCLOSE’s sponsor, about the Citizens United decision – “Regulatory filings show that much of the funding for independent expenditures comes from shell companies, pass-through entities, and non-profit organizations that conceal the true source of the individuals and companies supporting them. These non-disclosed funding sources were not what the Court had in mind when it issued its ruling in Citizens United, and therefore it did not consider the strong potential for corruption and the appearance of corruption they would create, including through threats and promises of spending.”
So what happened yesterday on the floor? Why the did our leaders choose to vote against best interest of the people they represent?. Well, where do you think all the secret money the Senate voted to keep hidden is going, if not their pockets? The only way to get the government we deserve is by holding our leaders’ feet to the fire- click here to contact your senator and ask them lend their support to the DISCLOSE Act.
Saman Marji is studying for a B.A. in Political Science and Public Policy & Management at New York University. He is hoping to pursue Masters in Public Administration and Juris Doctor Degrees. Saman has worked with multiple non-profits in their youth outreach and fundraising efforts such as Strive for College, The American Cancer Society, The American Red Cross, and Operation Dream Catchers.