If money is free speech (SCOTUS, Citizens United decision), then lack of money is lack of free speech….
“According to a Chamber of Commerce executive, if H.R. 1 became law, it would “silence” big business in politics. Cue the teeny tiny violins..”
House Democrats are moving forward on their government reform bill, and the lobbyist industry is up in arms. The Democratic bill, H.R. 1, makes voting easier and voter suppression harder. It strengthens federal ethics laws and lobbying registration requirements. It cracks down on dark money. So, yeah, lobbyists and representatives of big business hate it.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and 300 other such groups claim that the bill is “pushing certain voices, representing large segments of the electorate and our economy, out of the political process altogether.” The “certain voices” in question appear to be rich people who want to do their political giving secretly—the Chamber and its friends are particularly incensed about a provision that would require organizations that spend money on politics to disclose donors who give over $10,000.
“The $10,000 donor threshold,” they write, “appears designed to target business organizations while largely sparing labor organizations from disclosure of their funding sources, which are typically union dues that are far less than $10,000.” So … it’s not a mystery where labor organizations get their funding: from lots of different people’s union dues that are far less than $10,000. Whereas which rich people and business organizations are writing five-, six-, and seven-figure checks to influence our politics is a mystery that seems worth bringing out into the light.
According to a Chamber of Commerce executive, if H.R. 1 became law, it would “silence” big business in politics. Cue the teeny tiny violins … at least until they’re drowned out by the political expenditures of those “silenced” big-money donors.