NRA Exemption Expands

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The NRA exemption to the DISCLOSE Act has reportedly grown wider.

As we predicted, the appalling exemption demanded by the NRA has now been expanded. Even more groups will now elude public scrutiny, even as the Supreme Court recognizes that disclosure is the necessary response to expanded speech rights for corporations and unions. The only thing worse than this growing, egregious self-interested loophole would be the ignorance we’d be immersed in without the DISCLOSE Act’s transparency requirements.

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  • John Thacker

    I’m confused as to why forcing non-profits to disclose donors was awful in your opinion when it was Sen. Ensign doing it (http://blog.sunlightfoundation.com/?s=naacp+alabama) because of NAACP v. Alabama, but now it’s so important to do.

    Is it that your opinion has changed after Citizens United, or do you have a way to distinguish this?

  • John Thacker

    I believe that I’ve read posts on this blog before defending the ruling in NAACP v. Alabama. How does the Sunlight Foundation distinguish between what’s at stake at NAACP v. Alabama and the DISCLOSE Act?

    I notice that the ACLU opposes the DISCLOSE Act for essentially NAACP v. Alabama reasons. (Maintaining anonymity of small donors.) (https://ssl.capwiz.com/aclu/attachments/Ltr_to_House_re_ACLU_opposes_DISCLOSE_Act.pdf)

  • Paul,

    I got the idea SF took a position from an earlier posting on this blog, to wit:

    “There will always be loopholes in legislation, whether they are created inadvertently, or by clever lawyers taking advantage of the vagaries of the law, or by courts imposing their own spin on what a law should or should not accomplish. But the willful creation of a blatant loophole that entirely contradicts the intent of the underlying bill is almost too much to accept. Almost. Because in the end, Sunlight grudgingly—and fighting against all our instincts and knowledge of how reform legislation is only as strong as its smallest loophole—accepts that the DISCLOSE Act is still too important to crumble under the weight of the NRA exemption.”

    Did I read that wrong?

    • Terry,

      Sorry, my bad.

      I was responding to your comment on the back end of our blog and it was underneath another comment, maybe from you, but also possibly from someone else, about the financial regulatory reform bill. I must have gotten confused and thought you were talking about that.

      We do have a position on the DISCLOSE Act and I, personally, share you concerns. Sorry for the confusion.

  • So, where is the limit of your ability to ignore the expanding loopholes? How corrupt does this bill have to get before SF decides it’s not worth doing?

    • We have no position on the bill and don’t plan to take a position on the bill. I’m not sure what gave you that impression. We simply ask that the final version of the bill be online for 72 hours before a vote.