John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Disclose Act

Posted on June 17, 2010

US Supreme Court / Photo credit: Jarek Tuszynski

In full disclosure, I think the Disclose Act is a complete joke, and it's getting funnier.

What is the Disclose Act?

According to The Hill, the Disclose Act is "the Democratic response to a January Supreme Court ruling that overturns limits on spending by corporations and unions in political campaigns. It would tighten transparency requirements associated with corporate and union contributions, including forcing the CEOs of businesses to appear in ads funded by the company."

The Disclose Act has been shepherded through the Congress by the two guys who are most responsible for electing Democrats to the House and Senate, Chris Van Hollen and Chuck Schumer.

This bill is not about high constitutional principles. It is not about protecting the freedom of the American people. And it is not about creating private sector jobs or cutting the deficit.

This legislation, as the Democratic sponsors would probably admit to you over a couple of drinks, is designed to give Democrats a better chance to win elections this year and into the future.

The current campaign finance system is designed to give labor unions a clear advantage over the business community. Labor unions can compel their members to fork over money for campaign spending, even if a person disagrees with where the money is going. Labor union members get plenty of time to not work and campaign on behalf of Democrats.

Business groups can't compete, and they don't.

In fact, more often than not, business groups would rather play ball with Democrats to try to achieve a competitive advantage against their rivals in industry.

Labor gives its money almost exclusively to Democrats. Business groups give about half their money to Democrats, especially when they are in power.

The only thing Republicans have on their side is the idea that freedom, the free market and free enterprise are important to America's future. And sometimes, the American people get so sick and tired of overbearing, wasteful and incompetent government, that Republicans have an opportunity to do well in an election. This may be one of those years.

The Roberts Court ruled that free speech is free speech, no matter if it is individuals who are doing it on their own, or individuals who are doing it as part of business group or corporation.

It was a good decision, but it scared the bejeesus out of the Democrats.  They don’t really want the people to be able to speak out against the government takeover of the whole world.  They certainly don’t want business to be able to fight back against Big Labor.

Because the Democrats are so nervous about their political futures (and well they should be), they are fast-tracking the Disclose Bill because they think it may help them stave off electoral disaster.

They are so desperate, they have made the deal with the Devil himself (at least the liberal idea of the Devil).

They have made a deal with the NRA.

Democrats have decided to not include the National Rifle Association under the disclosure requirements of the Disclose Act, for two reasons.  First, they believe that the NRA is so powerful that buying their neutrality is worth whatever the cost.  Second, this legislation is so important to the Democrats, that they will do anything to get it passed, including cutting a deal with the hated NRA.

Can’t blame the NRA for taking that deal.  I would take that deal, if I were them.  After all, it gives the NRA a competitive advantage, vis a vis, any other interest group.  Let’s say you are trying to remain politically active and you have to choose between two organizations.  You want to remain anonymous, but you can afford to give a lot of money.  Would you give to organization that doesn’t have to disclose their donors (which under this law would be the NRA) or would you give to an organization where you would have your contribution disclosed for all to see (that would be every other organization)?

It really is quite amazing.

The liberal leadership of the Congress, led by such anti-gun advocates as Nancy Pelosi, Henry Waxman and Chuck Schumer, is cutting a deal that gives just about unlimited power, all because they want to keep their stranglehold on power.

This is the kind of deal that makes the most bitter cynic blush.  Are you laughing yet?