Daily Media Links 3/30: Nonprofits should be wary of new DISCLOSE Act, GOP senators say Dems want to muzzle opponents with Disclose Act, and more…

In the News

Campaigns and Elections: Nonprofits should be wary of new DISCLOSE Act
by Allen Dickerson
The Senate Rules Committee will consider a revamped version of the previously dead DISCLOSE Act on Thursday. The bill, which has 38 Democratic co-sponsors and no Republicans, would amend the Federal Election Campaign Act to require additional disclosure requirements for corporations, labor unions and Super PACs. A similar bill was introduced in the House earlier this year.  

The Hill: GOP senators say Dems want to muzzle opponents with Disclose Act 
by Rachel Leven
Republicans and panelist David Keating of the Center for Competitive Politics indicated that the requirement for radio ads could take up to 20 seconds of the ad instead of bill’s suggested seven or eight seconds.  

Multichannel News: DISCLOSE Comes Closer to Senate Action
by John Eggerton
Keating said the bill would also force nonprofits to radically alter their fundraising and public advocacy,  that it would force them to pare back their ad copy to fit the message in with the disclaimer,  that there were already spending disclosures in law,  that to pass the law while the current election is in “full swing” would not allow the Federal Election Commission time to draft implementing rules — a major criticism of the 2010 version as well — and provides a vague definition of the functional equivalent of advocacy which he called a “an invitation to burdensome and costly investigations by federal officials.”

Independent groups

Non Profit Quarterly: McCain Lambastes Secret Campaign Money, Court’s Citizens United Decision
by Rick Cohen
McCain-Feingold rides again—sort of. A man of integrity by all counts, whether you like his politics or not, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is taking on the world of super PACs and other tax exempt mechanisms that did in the campaign finance reform that he and former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold got Congress to pass in 2002 as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act.


National Journal, Influence Alley: Alexander Attacks Disclose Act as Democratic Scheme
by Andrew Joseph
“If we took the limits off, we’d solve the disclosure problem,” Alexander said, framing campaign contributions as an expression of free speech.  

The Hill: Dems drop ban on foreign-company PACs from Disclose Act
by Rachel Leven
Democrats have removed a provision from the Disclose Act that would have inadvertently banned all foreign-owned corporations from having political action committees.  

The New Republic: States vs. Plutocrats
by Alec MacGillis
Now, under the radar, a fledgling effort to force these donors out into the open is underway. And it’s being led by a rather unlikely group of crusaders: a handful of the nation’s state treasurers.  

Chattanoogan: Alexander: Democrats Trying To Change Campaign Finance Laws In Mid-Election “As Predictable As The Spring Flowers”
“It’s good to be with you on this beautiful spring day. This hearing in the middle of an election is as predictable as the spring flowers. My friends on the other side of the aisle are trying to change the campaign finance laws to discourage contributions from people with whom they disagree – to take effect by July 1st, 2012 – and I deeply appreciate the sympathy the Chairman is showing for the victimized Republican primary candidates Santorum and Gingrich in this whole process and I’m sure they would want me to thank you for that as well.  

Candidates and parties

NY Times: Where Are the Good-Government Republicans?
Senator John McCain recently denounced the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision as “naïve and politically ignorant,” telling Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, that “the consequences are manifesting themselves every day in what will someday be, sooner rather than later, a huge scandal.” But Mr. McCain has no corrective, and the rest of the Republican Party seems determined to block any reform. Meanwhile, checkbook politicking has already hijacked this year’s Republican primary campaign.


Connecticut –– CT Mirror: Governor’s controversial campaign finance fix rejected 
by Mark Pazniokas
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s much-maligned proposal to let publicly financed candidates raise unlimited supplemental funds if opposed by a high-spending opponent was rejected Thursday by a legislative committee.  

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