Report: Reid will force vote on Democratic campaign regulation bill 

After McCain-Feingold’s provisions on non- and for-profit speech were struck down in the Supreme Court’s recent Citizens United decision, Democrats are refusing to take no for an answer.

There appear to be two reasons for this. The first is Democrats long-standing opinion that there is too much “corruption” in politics in the form of campaign contributions (many favor government funding of all campaigns) but now a second motivation is beginning to appear: the desire to use campaign regulation as a cudgel to beat Republicans with in this year’s elections.

Over at the Hotline, Reid Wilson presents some evidence that Democrats’ efforts on behalf of a Senate campaign regulation bill may actually be designed to irk Republicans into blocking their bill, grandly title the DISCLOSE Act. No Republicans have agreed to cosponsor the bill considering that would be political suicide for them given how blatantly biased the legislation is in favor of unions. Democrats might be able to push the bill through despite this opposition but the thinking now is that they really have no intention of pushing it through since its failure can be used as a way to portray the GOP as linked to the “corruption” supposedly present in electoral funding.

Standing alone as a campaign message this isn’t likely to help Democrats much considering that campaign finance regulation has never been something the public cares much about (go through the “Priorities” pages at Polling Report for details), however, in tandem with the developing “Tea Partiers are racist” meme that’s being pushed out, the financial regulation bill that just passed the Senate, and Democrats’ continued efforts to portray Republicans as nattering nabobs of negativity, this is be a message that might work in some races that are trending Republican in blue states.

It’s not a message that is likely to convince independents but it may at least fire up a few disenchanted liberals.

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Matthew Sheffield

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