Why does this annoy me so much? According to Mother Jones, there's been a positive breakthrough in Congress' effort to roll back parts of the Citizens United decision and put light on funders of advertising and direct mail campaigns by outside groups.
House Democrats today reached a deal with the National Rifle Association that would roll back parts of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, the widely disdained legal precedent that opened the floodgates to corporate-funded political ads. The Dems' deal would require groups like the US Chamber of Commerce to disclose the top funders of their political ads, but would create loopholes for the NRA and other membership groups.
According to Politico, the deal would exempt any organization with over one million members in existence for more than ten years with members in all 50 states. They'd also have to raise less than 15% of their funds from corporate sources.
Assuming these requirements were met, they would not have to disclose the funding source behind the ad.
I realize that unions fall into the definition, but the NRA has not exactly been a shrinking violet when it comes to astroturfed campaign efforts. Giving them a pass bothers me almost as much as giving the US Chamber of Commerce a pass.
I can also imagine about sixty different ways for the US Chamber to walk around these exemptions. They're already putting a full-court press on small businesses to become part of the organization. Most small businesses are not incorporated. While I'm certain it will take awhile for that 15% funding requirement to be met, I'm not at all certain the US Chamber wouldn't find a way to meet it.
There is a little voice in my head which gets louder with every passing day. It screams this: There really isn't much excuse for any entity who is so passionate about political issues and candidates that they're willing to spend millions to elect/defeat them to actually STAND UP AND SAY SO.