DISCLOSE Act, Cloture Vote Today, Various and Sundry

The Senate convenes at 10 a.m. today and debates a motion to proceed to S. 3268, the DISCLOSE Act, with a cloture vote scheduled for 2:45 p.m.

Several developments:

President Obama made a statement in the Rose Garden Monday afternoon in support of the legislation. The President portrayed people he disagrees with as bad actors, who seek to subvert U.S. democracy and silence critics. The statement was shockingly hostile toward the companies that create jobs in the United States.

At a time of such challenge for America, we can’t afford these political games.  Millions of Americans are struggling to get by, and their voices shouldn’t be drowned out by millions of dollars in secret, special interest advertising.  The American people’s voices should be heard. 

A vote to oppose these reforms is nothing less than a vote to allow corporate and special interest takeovers of our elections.  It is damaging to our democracy. 

Accusing business leaders and corporations of malign intent reinforces the sense of uncertainty that afflicts the economy.  The message to business: Join us in Recovery Summer, invest in America, you corrupt merchants of greed.

The Washington Post this morning editorialized again in favor of the DISCLOSE Act.  “Vote for disclosure” is restatement of familiar arguments — and familiar omissions. It’s irritating to read an editorial from a major newspaper on disclosure that fails to report that the speech-chilling DISCLOSE Act would not apply to media outlets like the Post, which would be free to editorialize, publish opinion columns, and slant the news with its motivations and interests all kept under wraps. That’s the First Amendment at work, of course, but newspapers editorialists should acknowledge their self-interest: The DISCLOSE Act reinforces the power of mainstream media to shape public opinion.

The National Association of Manufacturers sent a Key Vote letter to the Senate yesterday reaffirming its members’ strong objection to the DISCLOSE Act. The letter is here.

Also Monday, 309 business groups and trade associations (including the NAM) joined in a letter stating their objections to the legislation. To those critics who claim big business and foreign corporations are out to scuttle the legislation, we offer these signators: The Bullhead Area Chamber of Commerce, the IEC of the Texas Panhandle, Nebraska Agri-Business Association, Transportation Intermediaries Association. There are more than 300 more.

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