Around 3pm, the Senate will hold another vote on S. 3369, the so-called "DISCLOSE" Act. (UPDATE - The Senate failed to invoke cloture on the bill, 53-45.)
While the Senate could certainly be debating more important issues, such as Audit the Fed, speeding up troop withdraw from Afghanistan, withholding foreign aid from Pakistan until they free Dr. Shakil Afridi, the government's constant warrantless surveillance of American citizens via cell phone tracking and "tower dumps," the renewal of the FISA Amendments Act, or even the impending "fiscal cliff."
Instead, Harry Reid is preparing for another show vote on "transparency."
Make no mistake, "DISCLOSE" is no benign bill about transparency. This is about shutting the American people up and stifling political speech in this country by muzzleing activists.
In a letter to Capitol Hill in opposition to S. 3369, the ACLU wrote, "this bill would have a deeply chilling effect on political speech about pending legislation for more than 40% of each Congress."
Because of our opposition to DISCLOSE Act, C4L has been accused by some of being shills for the GOP, Big Business, foreign governments, "the 1%", etc. It's doubtful those same people would be lobbing those accusation towards the ACLU.
Let's be clear, C4L's concern first and foremost is to judge legislation based on whether it is authorized by the Constitution. Not whether it's well intentioned, makes us feel good, or because it's the popular thing to do.
DISCLOSE Act was unconstitutional in 2010 when C4L first opposed it and it is still unconstitutional today.
As a knee-jerk reaction to the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, this bill is about seeking retribution against political opponents, not about "transparency."
If the cosponsors and supporters of DISCLOSE Act really support transparency, I'd expect to see them all sign on to cosponsor and vote "YES" on S. 202, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act.
Of course, many of them haven't. And I'm certainly not holding my breath...