The Washington Post‘s Ezra Klein:
In an effort to blunt the impact of [Citizens United], House Democrats developed the DISCLOSE Act, which would use transparency to combat money….
Of course, some organizations don’t like this. And one of them, the National Rifle Association, is powerful enough to do something about it. They’ve demanded an exemption from the bill, and they’ve gotten one. “The proposal would exempt organizations that have more than 1 million members, have been in existence for more than 10 years, have members in all 50 states and raise 15 percent or less of their funds from corporations,” reports John Bresnahan. The NRA is the only organization that meets the criteria.
Though [sic] experiment: If Democrats wrote this bill and created an exemption that only applied to the AFL-CIO, how would that play in the media? And why would it be substantively any different?
Ignoring that Klein later walked back the claim that the exemption would only apply to the NRA, this is pretty confused.
We don’t really need a “though [sic] experiment” for a scenario in which the Democrats write the bill to include a loophole for a huge advocacy group because that is what is happening in real life. The Democrats, not the Republicans, are pushing the DISCLOSE Act. The real thought experiment would be to consider what would happen if the Republicans created some kind of horrible bill that carved out a valuable loophole for the AFL-CIO. And I’ll go ahead and submit that that wouldn’t play well with the base.
Of course Klein was trying, however confusedly, to impugn the Republicans, for failing to condemn the NRA. But he should have checked the headline from his own paper: “Republicans, liberal groups oppose proposed campaign-finance exemption for NRA.” Sorry, the Democrats are uniquely wrong on this one.
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