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Campaign Finance Disclosure Vote in Senate Coming Soon - Make Your Voice Heard [155*5]

Updated on July 18, 2012



IT HAS ANNOYED ME TO NO END not to be able to find out who the big money is from that behind many of the campaign ads; I hope it annoys you to. You can't know right now because the part of the campaign finance law protects them from disclosing their identity if they donate through a non-profit organization.

The DISCLOSE Act (S. 3369), which has been sent to the Senate and the press today, tries to fix this problem. The following excerpt is from the Coffee Party USA, of whom I am a member,

" ...As you [might or might not] know, the Senate will be voting to break the Republican filibuster against the bill Monday at Midnight, and again on Tuesday (assuming the Monday vote will fail). No Republican senator has yet indicated they will support cloture and the bill. ..."

And then a partials quote from the letter contained on their site:

"Dear Senator,

The 156 undersigned national, regional and local organizations support S. 3369, the DISCLOSE Act of 2012, sponsored by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

The legislation would provide the public with basic information about campaign expenditures made by outside groups that are influencing federal elections and the donors financing these expenditures. The legislation would also provide timely disclosure by Super PACs and require outside groups which make campaign expenditures to take responsibility for their campaign ads. ...

... The First Amendment protects political speech; and disclosure permits citizens and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way. This
transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages. ..."

The article at the Coffeparty USA website suggested I crosslink it with this site but, other than what I did above, with the link, I am not sure how to do that. Anyway, they also provided this, if you are interested, and I hope you are because knowing where all of that money is coming from for both the Democrats and Republicans is very important.

Want to see where your Senators sit on transparency in the attempted purchase of election results? Look them up here and email them or then give them a call!


THE FIRST TWO COMMENTS WRONGLY CLAIMED that the DISCLOSURE ACT carved out an exception for Democratic-leaning labor unions without providing any proof of the assertion. Of course, that would be a dastardly political trick by the Democrats to put a poison pill in this House Republican sponsored bill so that it would look bad for the conservatives. Of course, I had to stick my nose in it and go look. Below are the pertainent sections of the Act which the commenters referred to make their assertion, it is at the very bottom. As I expected, they cherry-picked a couple of words and left out one important other word where the exclusion also applies ... corporations.

Judge for yourself: It starts with S. 3369, ‘SEC. 324. DISCLOSURE OF CAMPAIGN-RELATED DISBURSEMENTS BY COVERED ORGANIZATIONS, subsection (d):

‘(d) Campaign-Related Disbursement Defined- In this section, the term ‘campaign-related disbursement’ means a disbursement by a covered organization for any of the following:

‘(1) An independent expenditure consisting of a public communication.

‘(2) An electioneering communication, as defined in section 304(f)(3).

‘(3) A covered transfer.

‘(e) Covered Organization Defined- In this section, the term ‘covered organization’ means any of the following:

‘(1) A corporation (other than an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986).

‘(2) An organization described in section 501(c) of such Code and exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of such Code (other than an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of such Code).

‘(3) A labor organization (as defined in section 316(b)).

‘(4) Any political organization under section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, other than a political committee under this Act.

‘(f) Covered Transfer Defined-

‘(1) IN GENERAL- In this section, the term ‘covered transfer’ means any transfer or payment of funds by a covered organization to another person if the covered organization--

‘(A) designates, requests, or suggests that the amounts be used for--

‘(i) campaign-related disbursements (other than covered transfers); or

‘(ii) making a transfer to another person for the purpose of making or paying for such campaign-related disbursements;

‘(2) EXCLUSIONS- The term ‘covered transfer’ does not include any of the following:

‘(A) A disbursement made by a covered organization in a commercial transaction in the ordinary course of any trade or business conducted by the covered organization or in the form of investments made by the covered organization.



‘(C) DETERMINATION OF AFFILIATE STATUS- For purposes of this paragraph, the following organizations shall be considered to be affiliated with each other:

‘(i) A membership organization, including a trade or professional association, and the related State and local entities of that organization.

‘(ii) A national or international labor organization and its State or local unions, or an organization of national or international unions and its State and local entities.

‘(iii) A corporation and its wholly owned subsidiaries.


THE FOLLOWING SENATORS either voted NO or Did Not Vote in the first vote to invoke Cloture last night to cut-off debate on the filibuster of the DICLSOSE Act. I think SCOTT BROWN (R-MA) and HELLER (R-NV) may become vulnerable because of it.

  • Scott Brown (R-MA), Nay | Phone: (202) 224-4543 | Fax: (202) 228-2646
  • Susan Collins (R-ME), Nay | Phone: (202) 224-2523 | Fax: (202) 224-2693
  • Lindsey Graham (R-NC), Nay | Phone: 202-224-5972 | DC Fax: 202-224-3808.
  • Heller (R-NV), Not Voting | Phone: 202-224-624 | Fax: (202) 228-6753
  • Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Nay | Phone: 202-224-5922 | Fax: (202) 224-0776
  • Kirk (R-IL), Not Voting | Phone: 202-224-2854 | Fax: (202) 228-4611
  • Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Not Voting | Phone: (202) 224-5824 | Fax: (202) 224-9735
  • Richard Lugar (R-IN), Nay | Phone: (202) 224-4814 | Fax: (202) 228-0360
  • John McCain (R-AZ), Nay | Phone: (202) 224-2235 | Fax: (202) 228-2862
  • Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Not Voting | Phone: (202) 224-6665 | Fax: 202-224-5301
  • Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Nay | Phone: (202) 224-5344 | Fax: (202) 224-1946
  • Wicker (R-MS), Not Voting | Phone: (202) 224-6253 | Fax: (202) 228-0378


IN A STRAIGHT PARTY LINE VOTE the conservatives defeated the motion to end the conservative filibuster against Disclosure Act aimed at making the source of ALL political donations greater than $10,000 known to whoever wanted to know it. It is ironic, because conservatives have been pushing for this exact legislation forever until President Obama came out in support of it, then, in line with their vow to make Obama a one-term President, they opposed their own legislation.

The conservatives on the Hill and comments in this hub have unsuccessfully tried to make the case that this bill carved out an exception for union members because of a $10,000 and $50,000 exemption included in the bill, ones the conservative House put in there, if I am not mistaken (again irony) claiming Union members will be able to continue to anonymously donate to the Democrats and, by implication, individually influence their vote with their $50 donations, lol. Of course, these same conservatives didn't say anything about the fact the same "carve out" applies to corporate executives who could give $9,999 anonymously and actually have some chance at a quid pro quo from a local legislator.

The only silver lining to come from this vote is it problably sealed Scott Brown's fate in the Massachusettes Senate race; I really doubt those voters will appreciate his NEY vote.

All I can say is this is another conservative slap-in-the-face of the 80% of American's who supported this Act and should be a call to action to vote conservatives out of office in big numbers.


Do you think Conservatives should oppose the Cloture Vote Monday night (meaning defeat the Disclosure Act)?

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Do you consider yourself more closely aligned with the -

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Are you

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    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Show me where it does that, Attikos. Paste in the parts where it exempts the Dems moneybags. The parts I pasted in the main hub looked pretty inclusive to me and the exeptions I listed and the others you talked about which didn't apply, was about it. I am not sure where the others you are referring to are.

      Until I can lay eyes on them, the evidence is overwhelming that it doesn't exist.

    • Attikos profile image

      Attikos 5 years ago from East Cackalacky

      It should be, and it could be. This one isn't, but for the Democratic moneybags it exempts. This is a competition suppression bill disguised as a disclosure bill.

    • Davesworld profile image

      Davesworld 5 years ago from Cottage Grove, MN 55016

      I actually have no problems with a campaign finance disclosure act. It c could be a one page bill. Disclose ALL donations from any source in a publicly available manner sorted by dollar amount. Anybody and any thing can give any amount of money as long as the source of the money is disclosed within 24 hours of receipt of the money. There that's simple don't have to be any exemptions, explanations or rules and regulations. Everything gets disclosed in a manner that I, a concerned citizen, can access if I want to. It doesn't have to be complicated.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Oh yes, how does it suppress free speech if the source of the money is known or not? Are they embarrassed to be supporting conservatives (or liberals)? Or could it be they don't want a light shown on who it is they are trying to influence so that their voting record can't be scutinized later on?

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Darn, I took too long to edit my response. Anyway, to summarize what I said. The section where you drew your information doesn't talk about person-to-organization transfers, it is addressing organization-t0-person transers. Also, when they do mention $50K, it is an aggragate amount, not individual amounts. Finally, there is a section that mentions affiliate-to-affilitate transfers where the aggragate exceeds $50K as well. In that case, it refers to reporting requirements when separate campaign finance bank accounts aren't used requiring specific disclosure of who the donors were. That prevents any illegal donations from union members or corporate employees.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      It also applies to corporations.

    • Attikos profile image

      Attikos 5 years ago from East Cackalacky

      ME, in accusing the first two posters here of making a false claim, you conveniently omitted the provisions of this bill that exempt affiliate transfers of less than $50,000 (designed to spare labor union chapters from the bill's extremely costly reporting requirements) and less than $10,000 for payees (shielding unions from having to report dues earmarked for political purposes). Your reply is not only offensive, it is disingenuous. You are hawking a bill the purpose of which is to suppress political speech in violation of the 1st Amendment.

      I hope everyone does contact his senators. What they should hear is that their constituents recognize this bill as a measure corruptly written and dishonestly promoted, the purpose of which is to suppress funding and chill freedom of speech for political opponents of the Democratic Party's candidates, and that the voters want them to vote against Reid's cloture motion.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Thanks, HS.

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      I did not know about this bill. I am also not surprised the GOP is blocking it. They would never want to disclose their electoral "mother's milk". All Americans should know where this torrent of money is coming from. These politicians are going to be beholden to them. Even the Supreme Court agreed with this point in their Citizens United decision. Excellent Hub, My Esoteric. Great information.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Please do, TPC.

    • TeaPartyCrasher profile image

      TeaPartyCrasher 5 years ago from Camp Hill, PA

      Do you really think someone would like to know that the anti-Obama ad they're seeing was made with donations from the CEO that closed their factory?

      That is what a lot of the opposition to this is based on, IMO.

      Permission to share?

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Of course you made me go look, you cherry-pickers, you :-). I added a new section where I copied the appropriate section of the Act.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Thank you both for your comments. Both of you make the same point, but you don't say how the bill achieves this bad purpose. Can you point the specific parts out and ezpain how they don't pass muster please? Do you have the words that are used to "exempt unions"?

      I am not saying they are not there, of course, but I would be interested in the context.

    • Davesworld profile image

      Davesworld 5 years ago from Cottage Grove, MN 55016

      Attikos, I did five minutes of research on the bill and came to the same conclusion you did. Exempts Unions from most of its provisions while attempting to hold down on corporate political expenditures. The thing appears to be just another Democrat Incumbent Protection Act and should not be passed into law.

    • Attikos profile image

      Attikos 5 years ago from East Cackalacky

      There are several problems with this bill. One of the largest is that its provisions are engineered to put roadblocks in the way of political expenditures made by opponents of the Democratic Party while protecting Democratic money sources, particularly labor unions, from its requirements. It is just another of the many partisan privilege bills we see in Washington all the time. Were the senate majority to write a fair one, it could get bipartisan support. This one is not, and it should be killed.