DISCLOSE done for?

Fox News reports that Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), who had been considered a swing vote on the DISCLOSE Act, will vote against cloture later this afternoon:

Complaining that there have been “no hearings, no vetting, no attempt to bring people together,” Snowe touted her own past work on the issue and added, “I know the new routine on legislation these days is to ram and jam…but it really does take time…It really does require building a consensus.”

Also, a spokesman for Sen. Dianne Feinstein said the Senator would have supported the cloture vote, but would not have supported the final bill or another procedural motion to end debate as long as the NRA exemption remains.

Meanwhile, the AFL-CIO announced in a statement that it opposes the Senate bill, complaining that a special deal for unions was removed: “The Senate bill imposes extraordinary new, costly, and impractical record-keeping and reporting obligations on thousands of labor (and other non-profit) organizations with regard to routine inter-affiliate payments that bear little or no connection with public communications about federal elections,” according to Bill Samuel, the AFL-CIO’s director of government affairs.

As CCP has explained, at least three other provisions remain that advantage unions over business groups (a disclosure threshold that effectively exempts unions and restrictions on government contractors and companies with international investors that also effectively exempts unions:

Sen. Schumer claims that because one of these provisions was removed, the bill is now “completely balanced” and “treats unions and corporations the same.” This claim is absolutely false and evident to anyone who cares to examine the remaining provisions. Furthermore, the affiliate transfer exemption that Schumer removed was only added at the last minute to the bill by Democrats on the House Rules Committee. It was even criticized by Wertheimer. Removing an unfair union exemption that Democrats added the day before the House vote does not mitigate all the other problems with the DISCLOSE Act.

As it stands, Democrats don’t have 60 votes to ram this measure through. Stay tuned, though, for the actual vote at 3 p.m.

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.