A Democratic amendment tucked into campaign finance legislation Wednesday night appears to exempt big labor unions from proposed disclosure requirements.
The change, inserted by Rep. Bob Brady (D-Pa.), chairman of the committee charged with handling the bill and a key union ally, would also affect other groups funded by members who pay dues of less than $50,000. While the move may satiate liberal Democrats who had become uneasy with an exemption for the National Rifle Association, a union loophole will certainly cause Big Business to cry foul.
[Update] From the Alliance for Worker Freedom:
The DISCLOSE Act marks a stark departure from the traditional treatment of corporations and unions by applying punitive measures to associations in the corporate form, but not to labor unions, even though these groups have traditionally been treated similarly in campaign finance law:
- Companies that received federal money during the financial crisis face restrictions on speech, but not unions: General Motors cannot engage in express advocacy, urging voters to support a candidate by name, while the United Auto Workers union can
- Corporations, unions, non-profits and 527 groups will be required to report donors who give more than $600 if they engage in express advocacy, -- average union dues, the source of the majority of their funds, in 2004 were $377
- Businesses with government contracts worth more than $7 million are not allowed to engage in express advocacy while public sector unions that receive their dues from the taxpayers are exempt from such restrictions
- Companies where a foreign entity owns 20 percent or more of a company’s shares are not allowed to engage in express advocacy while international unions are free to tell Americans how to vote
With Democrats throwing the Constitution out to special interests with the highest bid (or the best back-room talents), it is no wonder hard-working Americans no longer have faith in their government.
If special interests were lollipops, Democrats would be lining up to see who could suck the hardest.
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776
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