Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted the Obama administration for supporting the Disclose Act in an Op-Ed today, calling it “an attempt to identify and punish political enemies, or at the very least, intimidate others from participating in the process.”
Writing in USA Today
, the Kentucky Republican said the measure is a “serious attempt to limit our freedom of speech that doesn't sound good at first blush.”
The DISCLOSE Act — Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections — would require corporations, unions, and advocacy groups to reveal their roles in political ads or mailings in the closing months of a campaign.
McConnell said that the Disclose Act is billed as reform but is instead an “attempt to identify and punish political enemies, or at the very least, intimidate others from participating in the process — an effort that's already underway.”
McConnell wrote: “The Obama administration has tried to single out its critics through federal agencies such as the IRS and the Federal Communications Commission, and even through a proposed executive order aimed at denying government contracts to opponents. The president has used selective disclosure not as a tool of good government, in other words, but as a political weapon.”
He pointed out that the Supreme Court, in Citizens United vs. the FEC, ruled that Congress “may not ban political speech based on the identity of the speaker” but the Disclose Act would “make this and any future administration's ability to punish and intimidate its political enemies even easier. It is the Democrats' attempt to get around the court by compelling certain targeted groups to disclose the names of their donors, while excluding others, such as unions, from doing the same,” McConnell wrote.
He said he has defended “full and timely disclosure of all contributions to candidates and parties.” McConnell said the Disclose Act, however, “calls for government-compelled disclosure of contributions to all grassroots groups, which is far more dangerous than its proponents will admit,” citing the 1958 high court ruling that said forced disclosure of the NAACP's member lists by Alabama would discourage people from freely associating with a cause or group.
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