Watchdog Groups Begrudgingly Back DISCLOSE Act

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


The carve-out that the National Rifle Association managed to secure in the House’s campaign finance reform bill has left many liberals gnashing their teeth. A slew of liberal groups have threatened to pull their support for the DISCLOSE Act—meant to curb the excesses of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision—if the NRA’s exemption stays in. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has even suggested the NRA deal may be unconstitutional in a statement released Wednesday.

But not all Democratic allies have followed suit. Labor unions are currently lobbying to push through their own deal in exchange for supporting the bill, which would require independent groups to out the donors that back campaign ads. Five watchdog groups—Common Cause, Public Citizen, the Campaign Legal Center, the League of Women Voters, and Democracy 21—have urged lawmakers to vote for the bill, though some have made no secret of their distaste for the NRA deal. “We’re uncomfortable with giving anyone any exemption. It continues to be a hard decision,” Craig Holman of Public Citizen told McClatchy.

Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW) announced its own support for the bill after mistakenly being included as a signatory on a letter to Nancy Pelosi signed by a host of liberal groups that opposed it. The group’s followed up with its own letter to Pelosi, noting the error and hailing the importance of political compromise: “We are not interested in seeing the perfect be the enemy of the good and are well aware that the NRA’s opposition to the bill might be sufficient to doom its chance of passage.”

Given the nearly unanimous opposition from the right on the bill, the Democrats will need all the friends they can get if the bill stands a chance. And it will be interesting to see if President Obama himself ends up making a strong case for the legislation. Only a few weeks ago, Obama was publicly railing against Citizens United and arguing for the need for campaign finance reform. But that was before BP‘s big oily mess had engulfed his presidency.

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate