Now That's What I Call a Rifle Shot

Tue, 15 Jun 2010 12:01:56 +0000

This is probably not the worst such example we will find, but it is pretty telling when everyone admits to it.  Regarding the campaign finance bill working its way through Congress, John Bresnahan of Politico reports:

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. Democrats say the new language would apply to only the NRA, since no other organization would qualify under these specific provisions. The NRA, with 4 million members, will not actively oppose the DISCLOSE Act, according to Democratic sources.

The exemption for a huge group like the NRA is sure to outrage smaller special-interest groups.

On the substance of the bill, I think we will see any number of efforts like this to make sense of the rules after the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court.  All of them will be unsatisfactory in some way.  It is hard to get the money out of politics when the reform must come from the existing political institutions. <!--break--> The larger context is that the Republicans are against the bill and the Democrats are for it -- this year -- because an aggressively waged campaign is thought to benefit the challengers at the expense of the incumbents -- this year.  I have no doubt that their positions would be reversed in some other year if their roles were also reversed.