Posts Tagged ‘Harry Reid’

We knew it was inevitable, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has dusted off the DISCLOSE Act for a vote. But first, let me review for a moment….

Unless you’re a new reader/visitor, you probably remember that I wrote about this Act back in June/July. (Here, here, here.) DISCLOSE is a terrible piece of legislation that would reverse, or neuter, January’s SCOTUS ruling (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission) that took the teeth out of McCain-Feingold’s “Finance Reform” Act. It includes ridiculous disclosure demands that would eat into the time & effectiveness of political ads. It would even, as the Public Advocate‘s Eugene Delgaudio stated,

…require any activist organization to disclose information about you if you made a contribution to them. Then of course they would share that information with those you stand against so that they could target YOU. Other measures in the Disclose Act include prohibitions on political spending by companies that have significant holdings overseas.”

"Just Say No!" buttonYou might not even think it sounds all THAT bad, but it really is. Various left-wing groups, the labor unions, even the NRA, all have exemptions carved out for them. But, the rest of us and the smaller activist groups do not. Whatever groups you support for your most-favored issues — 2nd Amendment, 10th Amendment, pro-life/pro-family, anti-Big Labor, etc. –, they will all be affected. Bottom line: DISCLOSE puts undue restrictions on free speech during election time. (If you haven’t read my earlier posts on the DISCLOSE Act, please follow the links above for more information.)

Here’s a little more from Delgaudio:

Without this critical legislation, conservative organizations can publicize legislator’s liberal votes and explain the legislation that was passed.

Do not be fooled! The far-reaching disclosure requirements of the Disclose Act are designed [to] help to hide liberal senators’ and congressmen’s voting records rather than to bring transparency to elections. Their fancy rhetoric about ‘strengthening democracy’ is designed to cover up the real reason that they pushed this bill: TO KEEP INCUMBENTS IN OFFICE.”

Grassroots objections helped to keep the DISCLOSE Act from passing in the Senate last time. Now, Sen. Reid plans to sneak it in again — TOMORROW (9/23/2010)! Please make sure your Senators know that this bill must NOT pass, and you & your friends will hold them accountable if they vote for it (S.3628).

Go here for the contact info.

We did it!

Yes, thanks to the many concerned citizens who called and/or emailed their Senators, blogged and/or talked their friends into doing the same, etc., the DISCLOSE Act — which passed the House in June — did NOT pass the Senate (S.3628, aka S.3295) this past Tuesday. It seems that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid couldn’t find enough ‘yea’ votes to push it through. (I feel so bad for him….)

Senator Harry Reid

Senator Harry Reid, realizing he can't pass the DISCLOSE Act... yet

Feelings about the bill are pretty much split along party lines. Democrats are all for it, especially incumbents looking at the November elections. Republicans recognize the highly-charged political motivations behind the DISCLOSE Act, which would place radical restrictions/demands on the free speech of companies & organizations who want to run independent political ads. (Except for the special exemptions made for certain large, Left-leaning groups <cough!AARPHumaneSocietyBigLabor>, as well as the NRA.)

As Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) put it in KCCI’s article:

This is a direct product of the Pelosi-Democrat machine,” Grassley said, going on to claim Democrats have “a desire not to have a full discussion of political issues.”

The Republican Senators were filibustering, so Reid called for “cloture”. This is a motion that, if passed by the necessary three-fifths of all Senators “duly chosen and sworn”, would end all debate (and, therefore, the filibuster) on the bill. (Well, technically, up to 30 hours more debate may still follow a vote in favor of cloture.) At that point, they could proceed to vote on the bill itself.

Two Senators were absent — Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Joe Ensign (R-NV) — and, thus, couldn’t vote. So, in order to get cloture, I guess Reid thought at least two of the RINOs had been convinced to vote in favor. (Or, maybe he didn’t realize Lieberman wasn’t there and thought he only needed one RINO vote?) If so, he was wrong.

The final vote was 57 to 41. Without Ensign present, this means that a Democrat voted against cloture! Who? As it turns out, it was Reid himself! At the last minute, he actually switched his vote to ‘No’! This is being called a “procedural tactic” that allows him to bring up the DISCLOSE Act again in the future.

I’m not sure I understand it, especially since I’m not up-to-par on Senate voting procedures, but here’s what I think may have happened. Before the final tally came in, Reid realized that, if they did invoke cloture, he might not have the votes he needed to pass the bill. If the bill was voted down, it would be time-consuming to get another, similar bill written and on the docket for both House and Senate. (And, the Dems really want to pass it ASAP.) So, he scrambled and voted ‘nay’ on cloture to make sure it failed, thereby leaving himself the option of reviving the current bill.

So, the DISCLOSE Act is off the table. For now.

But, the bill can be brought before the Senate again, and you better believe it will be. In fact, rumor has it that Reid and his buddies — e.g., Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Al Franken (D-MN), the bill’s co-sponsors in the Senate — are planning to make it a campaign issue starting in September. Furthermore, Schumer promised it would be brought up “again and again and again until we pass it.”

The message is, of course, that the DISCLOSE Act is not gone for good. We conservatives (and anyone else concerned about this unconstitutional bill) cannot rest on this issue, because it will keep coming up. It may get a name change or attempt to be snuck in as an amendment or rider on another bill, but it will return. So, keep your eyes & ears open, and keep this link handy to contact your Senators about this and any other bill that threatens our freedoms. The smart(er) ones are listening.

Harry Reid - Arrogance

My original post on the DISCLOSE Act was focused more on the NRA exemption, but it affects a lot more than gun rights. It is really a free-speech issue, and the labor unions now have their own exemption. I received the following update today from Mark Mix of the National Right to Work (NRTW) Committee, so I’ll let him get right to it:

Harry Reid launched a sneak attack late last night to ram through the speech-killing “Disclose Act.” The key vote to end debate and vote on the “Disclose Act” will be late Monday or early Tuesday NEXT WEEK.

This is an emergency, so please call and/or email your U.S. Senators IMMEDIATELY and insist they vote for free speech and against the “Disclose Act” (S. 3295).

[Go here for phone# & email of your Senators.]

The fact is, Big Labor’s cronies on Capitol Hill are just days away from ramming the “Disclose Act” down the throats of the American people.

In fact, this dangerous bill has already passed the House.

Though the so-called “Disclose Act” is being sold by Big Labor as a bill to provide greater transparency, its real intent is to harass and intimidate those who might criticize members of Congress into silence during the midterm elections and beyond.

Big Labor doesn’t want us, or anyone for that matter, to be able to inform the American people which candidates stand with them — and which ones stand with the union elite.

But, of course, like all the other insider games here in Washington, there is a big loophole.

You see, Big Labor is exempted.

They’ll still be free to spend their BILLION dollar forced-dues war chest in virtually any way they see fit in complete secrecy.

If passed, the so-called “Disclose Act” — more properly referred to as the “Incumbent Protection Act” — would:

  • Impose sweeping new regulations on organizations like the National Right to Work Committee, to keep them quiet and cripple their effectiveness during election years;
  • Force grassroots organizations to publicize and release the names of their top five contributors making them vulnerable to threats, intimidation or worse from political dissidents;
  • Require organizations to expose the location of their top donor’s home and workplace in the disclaimer at the end of every television ad.

I hope you know I would shut the doors of the Committee in a heart beat rather than give the union bosses the name of even one of our members.

That’s why it’s vital you act IMMEDIATELY!

You and I have come too far and, I believe, are too close to victory to be shut down by one of Big Labor’s dirty legislative tricks.

So please help me fight back today!

That’s why I ask you to take a stand for freedom of speech, your rights and your National Right to Work Committee and to contact your U.S. Senators and insist they vote for free speech and against the so-called “Disclose Act” (S. 3295).

[Go here for phone# & email of your Senators.]

The so-called “Disclose Act” is too dangerous to ignore. Please act TODAY!”

Stupak and the Blue Dogs caved / drank the Kool-Aid / got bought off — don’t hold your breath for that executive order, Bart — and the Senate’s bill passed the House. Now what?

Painting of the Battle of Waterloo

Famous painting of the Battle of Waterloo, by Robinson (c. 1820)

Some on the Left (and part-time Republicans like David Frum) are saying that the passing of Obamacare signifies a “Waterloo” moment for the Republicans & conservatives. Now, I don’t know much about the Waterloo Campaign, but I understand that Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Waterloo marked the end of the war and the end of Napoleon’s rule. So, I guess this is supposed to be it for the Republican Party as we know it — the end of any meaningful resistance to Obamacare and the end of the days of influence/relevance for the GOP and its supposedly heartless, hatemongering, “Right Wing Conspiracy” cheerleaders.

Naturally, I disagree with the sentiment. For one thing, the poll numbers for Obamacare were clearly in our favor — somewhere between 60% & 70% were/are against it. Other surveys indicate that America still leans conservative. We may be down, but we’re not out. If I was a better student of military history, I might be able to come up with a better metaphor. I’m thinking maybe something to do with George Washington and his battered & beleaguered troops in the American Revolution. There were many battles, and they suffered many defeats. Yet, through a combination of “luck”, Providence, perseverance, bravery & skill, and the overconfidence & arrogance of their enemy, the American colonies won their independence against the superior numbers of their elitist, tax-obsessed oppressors. See the parallels?

Of course, this wasn’t just any fight, this “battle for healthcare reform”. It was one where the larger opponent tied the smaller opponent’s hand behind his back, took his gun and left him with a knife. And, as the fight progressed, the larger opponent kept changing the rules. (OK, I could try to carry this analogy out further, but it’s late, so I’ll stop.)

The Obama-Pelosi-Reid machine combined the radicalism of Alinsky, the corruption of Springfield and the machine power politics of Chicago. Sunday was a pressured, bought, intimidated vote worthy of Hugo Chavez but unworthy of the United States of America.

[But,…] This is not the end of the fight; it is the beginning of the fight…. The American people will not allow a corrupt machine to dictate their future. Together we will pledge to repeal this bill and start over. Together we will prove that this will not stand.”

Newt Gingrich

General Washington pulled victory from the jaws of defeat. So, what can we do? A number of things are already underway or in the works:

1) Republican Senators are doing all they can (within the rules) to fight the “reconciliation” maneuver being used to pass the House-required “fixes” to the bill. (For example, there is still the issue of whether “reconciliation” rules can be bent far enough to pass non-budgetary proposals.) From what I can tell, the “fixes” have to be passed as is, as a package. So, if any changes are made to the “fixes”, it will have to go back to the House for a vote. (Or, whatever Pelosi & Co. can cook up to get around a vote, if they don’t think it will go their way.)

2) Republicans in both houses are releasing “repeal” bills. It’s a longshot, and it won’t happen anytime soon — not with our current, Democrat-dominated legislature, of course. And it probably won’t have a chance until at least 2012. But, the reasoning is that a) talk in Congress, the media, & the public will keep the idea alive and “get lawmakers on the record” before upcoming elections; and, b) the bills will be in place for if/when Republicans regain the majority (see below). Some Republicans in Congress see such efforts as a distraction and an unrealistic goal. But, as Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said, “Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go after it.”

3) Over 3 dozen state governors and their attorneys general are suing Congress — 14 have already filed — for passing an unconstitutional law. Of the two main issues that come up, the first is the mandated health insurance. The argument (with which I agree) is that the Constitution gives no authority to the federal government to force any citizen to purchase any good or service, let alone from any particular merchant/source(s). The other concern is the unsubsidized billions of $ the states will have to come up with to support the millions of additional people being put into the Medicaid program. Most states are already casting about for ways to meet their budget; they can’t afford to have this thrown on top, too.

Gov. Butch Otter of Idaho

Gov. "Butch" Otter of Idaho (AP)

4) Meanwhile, a few states (beginning with Idaho and Virginia) are passing legislation to exempt their citizens from parts of Obamacare like “being forced to purchase government-approved health insurance.” As with the above lawsuits, the matter of federalism is also at issue. By instituting these federal laws, is the federal government infringing on the states’ sovereign rights?

5) It doesn’t really matter now, but had the “deem and pass” strategy been utilized by Speaker Pelosi to force Obamacare through without a House vote, Mark Levin — popular conservative talk-show host and constitutional law scholar — had already drafted a lawsuit to be immediately filed against President Obama, Att. Gen. Eric Holder, Sec. of Treas. Timothy Geithner, & Sec. of HHS Karen Sebelius for allowing such an “unconstitutional contrivance” to be used. (Not sure why Pelosi and Reid weren’t included.) Sort of a moot point now, but I am glad someone was prepared to challenge that ridiculous maneuver in court. There may still be opportunity for a similar challenge….

6) Stay Active! We need to continue to write; call; sign petitions; attend rallies; volunteer & donate to conservative candidates, PACs, Tea Parties, and other groups; etc. Let the current administration and its cohorts know that we will not stand idly by as they transform us into the European Union West. The rhetoric from the Right must be challenging and forceful, yet respectful (of persons & offices, not ideas). Marxist thought may be tolerated in America — people are free to read, say, and believe what they want — but it is, arguably by definition, NOT American and should have no part in our government.

7) Take back Congress and Take back America! In November 2010, we can begin voting out/against any candidates who aren’t & weren’t fully against Obamacare. We cannot let a few months’ time wash from our memories the stain that they left on the Constitution and our freedoms. We must vote solidly conservative leaders into office, so that they can begin repealing Obamacare, either in pieces or as a whole, if possible. We must replace it with REAL healthcare reform — common-sense, patient-centered, market-driven, and not under Big Brother’s control.

Let’s make Washington proud. George Washington, that is — as well as the rest of America’s Founding Fathers and the Framers of the U.S. Constitution. Let’s get America back on track! Can we do this? With the right people, the right strategy & tactics, with focus and perseverance, and with blessings & guidance from God above… “Yes, We Can!”