Watchdog Groups Begrudgingly Back DISCLOSE Act

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The carve-out that the National Rifle Association managed to secure in the House’s campaign finance reform bill has left many liberals gnashing their teeth. A slew of liberal groups have threatened to pull their support for the DISCLOSE Act—meant to curb the excesses of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision—if the NRA’s exemption stays in. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has even suggested the NRA deal may be unconstitutional in a statement released Wednesday.

But not all Democratic allies have followed suit. Labor unions are currently lobbying to push through their own deal in exchange for supporting the bill, which would require independent groups to out the donors that back campaign ads. Five watchdog groups—Common Cause, Public Citizen, the Campaign Legal Center, the League of Women Voters, and Democracy 21—have urged lawmakers to vote for the bill, though some have made no secret of their distaste for the NRA deal. “We’re uncomfortable with giving anyone any exemption. It continues to be a hard decision,” Craig Holman of Public Citizen told McClatchy.

Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW) announced its own support for the bill after mistakenly being included as a signatory on a letter to Nancy Pelosi signed by a host of liberal groups that opposed it. The group’s followed up with its own letter to Pelosi, noting the error and hailing the importance of political compromise: “We are not interested in seeing the perfect be the enemy of the good and are well aware that the NRA’s opposition to the bill might be sufficient to doom its chance of passage.”

Given the nearly unanimous opposition from the right on the bill, the Democrats will need all the friends they can get if the bill stands a chance. And it will be interesting to see if President Obama himself ends up making a strong case for the legislation. Only a few weeks ago, Obama was publicly railing against Citizens United and arguing for the need for campaign finance reform. But that was before BP‘s big oily mess had engulfed his presidency.

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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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