Organizations that the Democrats want to exempt from the new campaign finance laws

Do we really want such imbalanced groups allowed to influence policy? How long do these groups have before they too lose their ability to speak out on different issues? This is such a mess.

Humane Society
National Rifle Association
Sierra Club

On Monday, POLITICO revealed the result of the negotiations: an amendment to the bill that would exempt from the disclosure requirements organizations that have more than 1 million members, have been in existence for more than 10 years, have members in all 50 states and raise 15 percent or less of their funds from corporations.

Though House Democratic sources say the goal was to exempt a handful of the biggest and most well-established advocacy groups, it turned out that only the NRA met all the criteria. . . .

But most problematic for the bill’s prospects: liberal House Democrats balked at the perception that they were voting for a sweetheart deal for the NRA, regarded by many liberals as perpetuating gun violence in urban areas by opposing gun control measures. As Rep. Mike Quigley, a Chicago Democrat, put it, since the NRA has worked against legislation to make it tougher to buy firearms at gun shows, it “simply cannot be allowed to play by a different set of rules than one that seeks to advocate for such sound policy.”

Van Hollen responded to similar concerns on Thursday, lowering the membership threshold to 500,000 for groups to qualify for the exemption, which brought in a handful of other top special interest groups, including the Sierra Club, the Humane Society and the AARP. . . .

The Politico piece starts with this note:

Hatched over the last few weeks by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) with backing from House Democratic leaders and the White House, it was a legislative maneuver rich with the kind of irony that often goes unremarked in Washington — a classic backroom special interest deal to help pass a bill that would require heightened disclosure of special interest spending on campaign ads. . . .



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