If At First You Don’t Succeed

Photograph by Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images

Sen. John McCain.

Try, try again.

Congressional Democrats came within one vote in 2010 of perhaps stopping the onslaught of anonymously funded political ads that helped cost their House majority and shrink their Senate edge. That’s because they couldn’t convince even one Republican to vote for their Disclose Act, which would have required nonprofits spending millions on political activities to disclose their donors. Not even John McCain, author of the campaign finance reform legislation that was eviscerated by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

Senate Democrats are back with a new version of their bill, dubbed Disclose 2.0, which does nothing more than require groups spending at least $10,000 on campaigns to disclose their spending and their large donors. And once again, Democrats insist that they can get Republicans to cross party lines, even though now they need seven members of the other party rather than one.

“We have to build the case for it,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat. “It may take some doing, but it is our goal to get that done. And it’s probably, in the long run, necessary to get this passed. So it’s an important focus, but I think it’s going to take public pressure as well as us working with our colleagues to get this done.”

So far, as was the case in 2010, there has been no stampede of Republicans supporting disclosure.

What do you think about this article? Comment below!