DISCLOSE Act Fails in Senate

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Washington -- The DISCLOSE Act, a
bill that would have boosted disclosure requirements on TV and radio ads, did
not get a vote in the Senate after a procedural vote to invoke cloture (end
debate failed to get the necessary 60 votes.

The move essentially bars the bill
from a vote or passage before the next federal election. The House had passed
its version of the bill last month.

DISCLOSE (Democracy is Strengthened
by Casting Light on Spending in Elections) was essentially a reaction to the
Supreme Court's decision that a ban on direct corporate or union funding of
electioneering ads (vote for or against this candidate) was an unconstitutional
regulation of political speech.

The bill even had a provision that
would have put it into effect immediately, rather than waiting until after the
Federal Election Commission crafted rules to implement it, so that it could
apply to the midterm elections.

The American Civil Liberties Union,
which opposed the bill, commended the Senate for rejecting what it called "well-intentioned
but overly broad legislation."

The Center for Competitive Politics,
which also opposed the bill, called it a victory for free political speech, but
said it was not time to rest on any laurels.

"This bill wasn't about disclosure, it was an attempt
by the majority to legislate an electoral advantage fewer than 100 days before
the midterm elections," said Center for Competitive Politics chairman Bradley
A. Smith in a statement. "Senators who support free speech in politics must
remain vigilant to make sure these campaign-finance restrictions aren't pushed
through on a later vote or in a lame-duck session."

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