Campaign Finance Reform Breakthrough: NRA & Dems Unite Against Chamber

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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.

The deal falls short of what campaign finance watchdogs wanted, but would probably be a net gain for Democrats. According to Politico:

The new agreement would exempt organizations that have over one 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, from the disclosure requirements.

That complicated loophole would probably exempt many (see below) not include unions, but neither would it exempt their better-funded foes, groups such as Karl Rove’s American Crossroads and the US Chamber of Commerce, which consistently ranks as Washington’s largest single political donor. Indeed, the Chamber would be doubly excluded under the proposed bill: First, it clearly gets most of its funds from corporations. And second, it has fewer than one million members, as I was able to establish in a series of stories published earlier this year.

The deal with the NRA smoothes the road for the bill’s passage in the House, where pro-gun Democrats had feared pissing off the powerful group. But it would still face hurdles in the Senate, where it could face major procedural roadblocks from Republicans.

UPDATE: Today the SEIU confirmed to Mother Jones‘ Suzy Khimm that unions will not be exempted from the bill’s disclosure requirement.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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