DISCLOSE: What About the Unions, III?

The Center for Competitive Politics passes on some important analysis from House staffers about H.R. 5175, the DISCLOSE Act.

The Manager’s Amendment to the DISCLOSE Act, slated for a Thursday floor vote in the House, seems to contain a glaring carve out for the benefit of labor unions, according to a quick analysis by House Administration Committee staff.

The Brady amendment would exempt from reporting requirements transfers between affiliated entities up to $50,000 (p. 10). Even more beneficial to labor unions the bill now reads that if the transferred amount is attributable to individual dues paid on a regular basis then the transfer amount is attributable to the individual rather than the organization (p. 14-15). The average amount of individual, annual dues ($377) is well below the bill’s threshold of $600 for mandated disclosure.

So, in effect, unions would be able to shift unlimited amounts of money around through various affiliated entities and never have to report or disclose any of it. The definition of “affiliate” includes two organizations that are affiliated with the same organization, so the shell game possibilities are endless.

Don’t believe the acronym, the bill is about loopholes and special treatment for politically favored groups.

More from The Daily Caller:

House Democratic leadership is aiming to pass its campaign spending bill on Thursday, while Democrats are defending it from criticism that it includes loopholes for special interests.

The Daily Caller reported Monday that the legislation, called the DISCLOSE Act, shields labor unions from many of its requirements.

For example, restrictions on companies that received government bailouts during the financial crisis apply to businesses, but not unions: Under the DISCLOSE Act, General Motors can’t tell you who to vote for, but the United Auto Workers union can.

Despite heavy pressure from labor unions, supporters have not been able to force the Employee Free Choice Act through Congress this year. Hell of a fall-back position to mollify labor: We’ll limit speech in all federal elections, not just union ones.

UPDATE (12:05 p.m.): More from the Center for Competitive Politics. The lefty Mother Jones publication reported AFSCME’s obviously successful efforts to win this exemption last week:

Mother Jones: “Labor, Guns, and Money”
June 17
AFSCME is trying to exempt state and local political organizations that accept soft money—that is, unrestricted contributions from individuals or groups—from being regulated under the bill. Under the DISCLOSE Act, such groups, which often receive union backing, would have to disclose their donors if their campaign ads reference a federal candidate. AFSCME opposes having to out itself as the backer of these state and local campaign efforts. “The problem is that we have local union affiliates—we have 4000 of them—that could make a contribution to one of these entities…which could trigger these very detailed disclosure requirements,” said Loveless. He said that AFSCME was “trying to protect these local affiliates” from having to make such disclosures.

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