View Full Version : article: "Democrats Carve Exception for NRA to Salvage Campaign Law"

06-15-2010, 8:28 PM
It's nice to own Congress. It's also nice that someone worried about NRA member information becoming public.

Article at http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/3537322 (http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/3537322)

Bolded article text is my emphasis.


Democrats carve exception for NRA to salvage campaign law

William Douglas
McClatchy Newspapers
Tue Jun 15, 7:08 pm ET

WASHINGTON — Several open-government advocacy groups said Tuesday that they support a deal crafted by the Democratic leadership of the House of Representatives that would exempt the National Rifle Assocation and other groups from some provisions of a proposed campaign finance disclosure bill.

The bill was written to close the vacuum created last January by the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision that struck down decades-old law barring corporations and unions from directly supporting campaigns.

The bill would ban government contractors from contributing to campaigns, prevent federal TARP money recipients from using that money to influence elections, and prevent foreign nationals and countries from contributing to campaigns.

The measure also would require corporate chief executive officers to appear in political ads that their companies help pay for and say that he or she "approves this message."

While calling it distasteful, some open-government advocates said that the NRA exemption was the only way that Democrats could remove NRA opposition to the so-called DISCLOSE Act and get the bill to the floor of the House for a vote as early as this week.

"The reality is that NRA controls a goodly number of members of Congress and they're not going to vote for a bill it's against.

You don't want to kill a good bill because of one provision." and they're not going to vote for a bill it's against," said Sarah Dufendach , the vice president for legislative affairs for Common Cause, a non-profit government watchdog group. "You have to balance what you get in the disclosure bill versus what the NRA gets. You don't want to kill a good bill because of one provision."

The NRA, in a statement, endorsed the deal.

"On June 14, 2010 , Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives pledged that (the DISCLOSE Act) would be amended to exempt groups like the NRA that meet certain criteria, from its onerous restrictions on free political speech," the statement said. "As a result, and as long as that remains the case, the NRA will not be involved in final consideration of the House bill.

The NRA initially opposed the bill largely because it doesn't want to reveal its donor list.

Under the deal, organizations that have more than a million dues-paying members, are active in all 50 states, derive no more than 15 percent of their funds from corporations, and have existed for more than 10 years would be exempt from the disclosure requirements.

Five watchdog groups — Common Cause, Public Citizen, the Campaign Legal Center, the League of Women Voters and Democracy 21 — sent a one-paragraph letter to lawmakers on Tuesday urging them to vote for the bill.

"The exemption written for the NRA, which applies to AARP and the Humane Society , doesn't undercut the integrity of the bill itself," said Craig Holman , Public Citizen's government affairs lobbyist. "It was a political decision. We're uncomfortable with giving anyone any exemption. It continues to be a hard decision."

Not all open government groups support the deal. Lisa Rosenberg , government affairs consultant for the Sunlight Foundation, wrote that the deal epitomizes what's wrong with Washington.

"We are disheartened that some would forgive the exemption on the grounds that it is so narrow it won't open the floodgates for secret money in elections," she wrote on the group's website. "But the simple fact that the NRA could demand such an exception in a shadowy backroom deal demonstrates why we need more, not less, sunlight on the entire process... Where does the deal-making end and backbone begin?"

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06-15-2010, 8:35 PM
I was just going to post this. Freedom for all, no exceptions.

06-15-2010, 8:45 PM
I support the 2A strongly, but I do not forget the others! NRA needs to change its position...

06-15-2010, 8:48 PM
There are good reasons for confidentiality, I know, but I wonder if NRA might also be worried about some Brady-like issues with its list. They guard that thing tighter than the US guards its nukes.

06-15-2010, 8:48 PM
It's nice to own Congress. It's also nice that someone worried about NRA member information becoming public.

I think that's cool.

Many many people would probably quit the NRA if their membership lists were published.

It's clear that the NRA is one of the very few (perhaps only) organization that fits the exemption, so it's nice to see the NRA has the power to insert things into bills like that.


SAN compnerd
06-15-2010, 8:52 PM
Read this thread for a better perspective.


06-15-2010, 9:02 PM
The people that created this bill are beyond contempt. This is their run at intimidating and silencing their opposition before the next critical elections. H.R. 5175 is completely worthless and it's no surprise it's supported by the same people who want to "change the system." It's understandable how the NRA wants to be exempt being that the Democrats just shoved healthcare control down our throats.

06-16-2010, 8:28 PM
I don't support this favoritism, even for an organization of which I am a member--the NRA, but I am not crying for the 'Brady Bunch' and their whining over this either since they are dead set on denying my 2nd Amendment rights. The NRA isn't hiding anything any more than any other lobbying group including the Brady group would like to. The NRA just don't want interference as all lobbying groups don't want it. While I still think it's wrong, what's great about this, from my point of view, is that the NRA is strong enough to get it--even if I don't agree with it. That gives me confidence my 2nd Amendments rights are secure and we'll see a rollback of laws in infringing states like California. It's about friggin' time.