The fall out resulting from the backroom deal that will exempt the National Rifle Association from the DISCLOSE Act’s draconian disclosure requirements continues to play out. Yesterday, U.S. PIRG and the Sierra Club announced their opposition to the DISCLOSE Act citing the Congressional Democrats’ deal with the NRA as the reason. According to The Hill:
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) and the Sierra Club said Tuesday they will now oppose the Disclose Act, which Democrats are pushing as a response to the January Supreme Court decision that overturned limits on corporate and union contributions to political campaigns.
The opposition comes after Democrats agreed to a provision that would exempt the NRA and a few other large organizations from disclosure requirements that are central to the bill.
It will be interesting to see if other reform groups will now oppose the legislation. At the very least, this deal calls into question the stated purpose of the legislation – that it will curb the influence of special interest money in elections. In simple terms, the largest, most powerful special interest group just received a waiver from Congressional Democrats. If the exemption remains in the legislation, the NRA is free to air political advertisements without complying with the onerous disclosure requirements that will be inflicted on smaller, grassroots organizations. How does this help the little guy?
Here are some more links to articles discussing the NRA deal:
NRA Disclosure Deal Draws Fire, Roll Call ($)
DISCLOSE Act Moves Toward House Vote After Supporters Reach Agreement With NRA, BNA Money & Politics Report ($)