Congress can't play favorites with the NRA in campaign reform
An attempt in Congress to carve an exemption for the National Rifle Association (NRA) in a campaign-reform bill only adds to the anti-incumbent mood in America.
Lawmakers still seem to ignore the hard facts before them about their unprecedented unpopularity: Only 3 in 10 Americans plan to vote for their House representative this fall, according to a Gallup poll. An amazing 60 percent of voters would prefer to elect a candidate for Congress who has had no experience rather an incumbent.
And yet despite this anti-incumbent mood in America, the House tried in recent days to play favorites with the NRA. It effectively carved out an exemption for the 4.5-million-member, pro-gun organization in a bill – and here’s the irony – aimed at reducing the power of private groups in politics.
The bill, known as the DISCLOSE Act, is the Democrats’ response to a Supreme Court decision this past January (Citizens United v. FEC). That ruling, which cited the First Amendment’s free-speech clause, bars legal limits on what corporations, unions, and other groups can do in a political campaign during the final months before an election.