Campaign Finance

DISCLOSE Act Passes House, Goes to Senate


Yesterday the House passed the DISCLOSE Act, a response to Citizens United that imposes highly discriminatory burdens on freedom of speech in the name of transparency. In a column a few weeks ago, I explained how the law restricts the freedom of disfavored speakers (such as government contractors and corporations partly owned by foreigners) while exempting constituencies that tend to support the Democrats (such as labor unions and grant recipients). Since then the bill has become even more arbitrary, applying speech-chilling requirements (such as disclosure of all donors who give $600 or more) to small grassroots organizations but not to big lobbies such as the NRA and the AARP. Last week Harvard law professor Larry Lessig, a prominent critic of Citizens United who was never enthusiastic about the DISCLOSE Act, cited the loopholes in announcing his opposition to the bill, which now goes to the Senate. "These exemptions would create a two-tiered system of campaign finance laws and First Amendment protections," he said, "one for the most powerful and influential and another for everyone else."

On Monday I discussed the ACLU's reasons for opposing the DISCLOSE Act. The Center for Competitive Politics has an updated analysis of the bill here (PDF).

NEXT: Loan Mods Beaten Up By Loan Rockers

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  1. Aren’t labor unions corporations?

    1. But they aren’t evul corporations.

      You see the difference there…

  2. David Weigel|6.14.10 @ 5:01PM|#

    Well, I really enjoyed the two and a half years I spent here, and I’m constantly confused as to why mentions of my name lead to a lot of schoolyard insults. I really can’t figure out why they do it — lack of fulfillment seems like a good enough theory. After all, I’m here, and they’re where I left them in 2008.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to return to my rewarding job and large circle of friends. I don’t know how my ego will ever recover…

    WEIGEL QUITS just like Sarah Palin!

  3. Hey all you paultards! Boy it is awesome to have such a bad ass dream job at the number one paper in the free world. I really have a amazing circle jerk of friends and I can’t believe you losers here are still talking about all your gold bug conspiacies and other racists stuff…For the first time in my life I find that chicks are startign to really dig me….hold on a second, my boss is calling my cellphone… wierd.

    1. “For the first time in my life I find that chicks are startign to really dig me”

      Must be a spoof as Weigel is gay (unless by “chicks” he means fag-hags).

      1. “I really have a amazing circle jerk of friends”

        Yeah, I think you’re right about the spoof Gobbler.

        1. I thought he was gay, too, but in one of those articles linked to yesterday, he mentioned his girlfriend. Maybe Weigel’s more confused than I am right now.

          1. Oscar Wilde was married so I don’t see how the two are mutually exclusive.

            1. Yeah, but being an openly gay man and dating and/or marrying a woman is flat-out eccentric. Well, Wilde was pretty eccentric but I’m not sure how openly gay a person could be back in those days.

              1. As Wilde spent time in prison for sodomy, not much more than he was.

                1. Yeah. He went to jail for being so open about it. Wilde’s is a very odd case. He seems to have loved his wife. And the man he was shagging was a complete low life. It would have been one thing if he had a genuine affection for someone. But he seems to have done it for no other reason than just to try it. He died a broken man over it. The whole thing was very odd.

              2. Yeah, but being an openly gay man and dating and/or marrying a woman is flat-out eccentric fucked-up/greedy.


  4. Another campaign finance free speech regulation bill that will be tossed out on its ear by SCOTUS.

    1. Maybe the president will veto the bill before it gets to that point.


    2. I swear to Gog. It’s almost like thy’re begging SCOTUS to overturn this, just out of sheer absurdity.

      1. “I swear to Gog”

        So this is what it feels like, when doves cry…

  5. uhh hey guys…so we are all cool right? I love libertarians.

      1. Don’t listen to this imposter. Spoofing is the national sport of Hit & Run.

  6. HaHahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Well, sure.

    From mom’s basement here, it looks like a recent series of intemperances re: choked reporters and “hate mail” (and possibly also re: a certain fine tradition here) made D no longer useful to team TEAM BLUE!, so they chucked him.

    When it comes up, Pals of D, remind Shilly that we here in the schoolyard of unfulfillment can’t leak from Journolist and ratfuck anybody. We can only mock. Check yo “friends.”

    And mall security is hiring.

    1. In these tough economic times, I can’t gloat when anyone loses their job.

      1. Even for public employees?

        Good to know that you have some compassion. I have always thought that you did.

  7. I like how WaPo has blocked comments on Weigel’s blog. Internet vitriol cost him his job, and now his unemployed ass can avoid comeuppance on the way out. I hope his mom can reheat dinners as well as my mom does…

  8. Wow, Dave’s problems seem to be hitting the news circuit pretty hard. He popped (with a picture!) near the top of my Google News page.

    I always thought he was more leftist than libertarian, even when he was writing here, but he at least had some sympathy for the libertarian viewpoint, it seemed. However, the idea that he was a conservative tracking conservatives for WaPo was plainly a fraud perpetrated by the paper (I don’t blame Dave for taking the job–this part is the paper’s fault).

    I hope Dave can find a new gig, but I think he should be more honest now about where he lives politically and work from there. I suppose I was once disappointed that a Reason writer seemed a little more leftish than was consistent with a libertarian publication, but I certainly don’t wish pain, unemployment, or Internet hell on him. There’s a long line of journalists I’d like to see fired ahead of him.

    1. Right. Now back to the infantile hate tantrum.

    2. Well said ProL. I don’t get the hate fest either.

      1. I did see that Dave exchanged some shots with some Hit & Run commenters, which, to be honest, seemed to stem from an initial uncalled-for remark by Dave, but I think he’s flipping out some over the disaster he’s stumbled into.

        When I finally lose it, I intend to tell all of you off, too. In fact, it’s in my will.

        1. Excellent. You must have RC, ClubMed or one of our other fine Esqs. do the reading.

          And I better be getting your Different Strokes and One Day at a Time bobblehead collections.

          1. I want Edward to read it to you all.

            1. One better. This job calls for shrike.

              1. Sorry, I’ve been busy spooing all over this picture of Chairman Mao…

  9. Any future Reason writers that are contemplating working for team blue or red…remember that it is important to maintain your credibility as a libertarian to some degree by only occasionally coming in and stabbing the movement in the back.

    If you are friends with Ezra Cornhole or fellating Max Bootlicker then you are essentially outing yourself as a person who hates libertarianism and this will make you NOT useful to the people who want to destroy the country and you will get fired.

    1. Max Kaiser? Who is Max Bootlicker?

  10. …imposes highly discriminatory burdens on freedom of speech in the name of transparency…

    We had to kill the free speech to save it.


  11. “These exemptions would create a two-tiered system of campaign finance laws and First Amendment protections,” he said, “one for the most powerful and influential and another for everyone else.”


    1. It’s all going according to the plan…mwaaaahahahahahahaha!

  12. It took congress less than 50 years to go from passing campaign finance laws that are supposed to protect us from the powerful to campaign finance laws that protect the powerful. Who didn’t see that coming?

    1. **sheepishly raises hand**

  13. So, it’s gonna be pound on Weigel day today?

    1. “So, it’s gonna be pound on Weigel day today?”


      1. NTTAWWT

      2. I guess I could reciprocate.

      3. Gabe,

        There’s a difference between “pound on Wiegel” and “Pound Weigel” Day.

        Put the lube away till the later gets declared.

  14. I always thought he was more leftist than libertarian, even when he was writing here, but he at least had some sympathy for the libertarian viewpoint, it seemed.

    I never really understood the virulent anti-Weigel sentiments. But I’m not a True Scotsman.

    1. I never understood it either, but after seeing the leaked e-mails I guess I understand it a little better now.
      Still, i hope Weigel gives stitches to some snitches.

      1. At Reason, he was the same thing he now was at the Washington Post; a concern troll. Every bit of sympathy he ever showed for the libertarian view point was always couched in terms of “libertarianism would be great if libertarians would stop fucking it by not being liberal enough”. And even those posts were rare. Mostly he just wrote “Bush and the Republicans suck” posts that could have been cut and pasted from daily Kos. And that is fine. Bush and the Republicans did suck from the libertarian perspective. And he wasn’t the only person writing such posts. But, when that is 90% of what you write and you never write a single post advocating a libertarian view point that is not just concern trolling, the natives start to get restless.

        1. He was pretty good as a reporter, though. I always enjoyed his live-blogging of political events.

          It’s when he expressed an opinion that he made me cringe.

          1. I’ll never forget Weigel’s complete breakdown of feigned detached journalistic objectivity in his “live-blog” of Sarah Palin’s 2008 GOP convention speech. She freaked him out so much he morphed into a full-leftard asshole right here.
            (I can’t seem to retrieve it via search)

            1. Anyway, I know it’s somewhere in this set of links.

      2. It’s funny…I’ve been bitching about Weigel for months (always from a more-sorrow-than-anger POV, though), and I’m actually pretty pissed off about how this all came to an end. After the initial shock of those e-mails wore off, the fact that someone stabbed him in the back depresses me. He must have made some powerful enemies.

      3. I kinda hope he has a whole archive of similarly ridiculous crap from the other Journolist members and dumps it out for everyone to see in retaliation.

        1. Me to. Nothing ever dies on the internet. If not now, one of these days all that shit will come out.

  15. I think I speak for all of the H&R commentariat when I say that we need a post to give Weigel the comeuppance he so richly deserves after he came here and called us names.

    Dog pile on the Rabbit! Dog pile on the Rabbit!

    1. I’d easily pass on that thread for an alternate picture of Lobster Girl.

      1. What’s becum of her BTW?

    2. I just want a post for it so it doesn’t infect everything else today. So Weigel’s a team blue cheerleading putz. I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here, too.

  16. As long as Americans put up with licensure of broadcast media, restriction schemes designed to seize power and keep it shall hide under cloaks of protecting the people rhetoric.

    In the days of spread spectrum, no technological reason exists for the FCC and licensure of airwaves.

    Airwaves licensure is a scam and gives Politicians control of speech and hence thought.

    Think about it.

  17. threadjack, but I have found my calling in life.…..e-guy/8119

    Not long ago I was offered work as a quality-control expert with an American company in China I’d never heard of. No experience necessary?which was good, because I had none. I’d be paid $1,000 for a week, put up in a fancy hotel, and wined and dined in Dongying, an industrial city in Shandong province I’d also never heard of. The only requirements were a fair complexion and a suit.

    “I call these things ‘White Guy in a Tie’ events,” a Canadian friend of a friend named Jake told me during the recruitment pitch he gave me in Beijing, where I live. “Basically, you put on a suit, shake some hands, and make some money. We’ll be in ‘quality control,’ but nobody’s gonna be doing any quality control. You in?”

    1. Yeah, sounds like a great gig.

  18. Do we need some smart law-school type to explain to us how “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech” means, in fact, that Congress is empowered to make laws to so do?

    1. “Do we need some smart law-school type to explain to us how “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech” means, in fact, that Congress is empowered to make laws to so do?”

      Yes we do. It is the difference between wisdom and being clever. Our current political class is plenty clever and can give a compelling explanation why day is really night. But they are so devoid of wisdom that they confuse cleverness for it.

    2. We apparently have a passel of dumb ones willing to give it a shot.

    3. I figure some of our resident lefties will be along soon enough to do that. What do you think, maybe they’ll claim it’s “interstate commerce”?

      1. Interstate welfare?

      2. Corporations aren’t part of “well-organized militia”?

      3. I’m going with living Constitution.

    4. The original had “unless there is a compelling state interest” at the end in invisible ink.

  19. White guy in a tie? I can qualify for that.

  20. Who did Weigel piss off so badly? He’s annoying, sure, but he hardly deserves to be destroyed like this. This seems awfully purge-y.

    1. I said on the other thread that those journolist e-mails sunk of someone desperate to fit in. They really did read like liberal trolling. Honestly, I think Weigal was a real life journalist version of the protagonist in that Off Spring song “Pretty Fly for a White Guy”. He was so desperate to be one of the “cool journalists” on the list, that he no doubt annoyed them.

      And since all of those clowns are never got passed adolescence, they kicked him out of the group by leaking his e-mails. I think Weigal is a douche. But I kind of feel sorry for him. Those people on journolist are total assholes.

      1. How old is he, anyway? He must be around my age. That’s too old to just now be realizing that there are consequences for saying stupid shit. There’s a reason I stay anonymous on here.

        1. Me to. And he is also old enough to know better than than to trust assholes like Ezra Klein. Those people are scum. You could never tell them anything in confidence. He really strikes me as more immature and naive than anything.

          1. Aw, shit! Are you guys saying I should have stayed anonymous! Fuck!

          2. So he IS a libertarian!


      2. As blunt as this analysis is, I think it’s roughly accurate. He could NEVER truly be “one of them” because, ironically enough, of his suspicious libertarian origins with Reason.

        Apparently it was his defense of Rand Paul on the WaPo blog that may have done him in — that’s what triggered the left-wing weasel to destroy his career.

        1. I didn’t realize he had done that. That no doubt is what did it. It is a real window into those people’s souls. In a different time and place, Klein and company would be down denouncing people to the NKVD. They truly are useless swine.

        2. Just guessing, I bet doubts about DWeigel’s “ideological purity” did him in. Covering the Right (often in a relatively fair, professional manner) and 2.5 years working for a rightwing mag/website couldn’t be overcome by his progressive-faggot toadyism.I ain’t hatin’ but I sho’ is gloatin’.

      3. Right, I mean, he’s been making comments such as these for over a year now. Why would someone just leak these now? It seems like he either pissed someone off, or outlived his usefulness, or something, and they decided to be rid of him. As Warty says, this is very purge-y.

        1. I vote for outlived his usefulness. It’s hard to be the fifth column when everyone knows you work for the enemy.

          1. It’s hard to be the fifth-rate columnist

      4. “Those people on journolist are total assholes.”

        but that was his awesome circle of friends that losers in their parents basements could never dream of being a part of.

        1. Reality is a harsh teacher.

          1. Lie down with dogs…

            1. …you risk ricochet.

    2. “awful purge-y”

      I’m all for Purges, as long as EVERYONE get purged.

      ALLAH FORBID everyone had to put a decent search-term in google to find their news.

  21. I feel terrible for Dave Weigel. I’ve been one of his harshest critics here on Reason (and elsewhere), but there’s no question that someone sunk the shiv into his back from the LEFT — out of professional jealousy or ideological hatred, either way it’s an awful way for him to realize who his friends really are.

    I do think there are a lot of very interesting aspects of this story to talk about, and I hope Reason gives a forum to discuss them (instead of hijacking other threads), but I call on Reasonoids to resist the urge to pile on here, for once. Whatever his flaws, Weigel deserves better.

    1. I mostly agree, but he dug his own grave. And I’d have a lot more sympathy if he hadn’t come here last week to argue with us about whatever his indignity-of-the-day was.

      1. How could someone his age not realize that anything you type in an email can be made public? Did he really think this stuff would never leak, or did he think there would be no consequences?

      2. Weigel’s bragging about how awesome it would be to return to his awesome job and awesome circle of friends was, in retrospect, some pretty obvious BAD FUCKING KARMA.

        Kind of makes you wonder whether the ‘fix’ was in from that point onward.

        1. I admit…I’m really kind of angry on Weigel’s behalf now. Which is random, but whatever. I would *LOVE* to know who outted him. Who the true all-time Crapweasel of the Left really is.

          1. Who are the known journolist contributors? I know Ezra Klein is one. I thought Ygelsias is to. But I am not sure. I bet if we went through the list, we could make a pretty good guess.

            1. Krugman is on the list.

              1. Can’t see him caring enough about Weigel. His ego is too big to stoop to destroying someone like Weigel.

                1. Members of JournoList include: Ezra Klein, Jeffrey Toobin, Eric Alterman, Paul Krugman, Joe Klein (no relation), Matthew Yglesias, and Jonathan Chait.


                  1. Alterman is pure evil. I wouldn’t put anything past him. But he at least has a set of balls. Alterman would have just posted the e-mails on his site. He wouldn’t have leaked it anonymously. Yglesias is too much of a puss to even do it anonymously. Klein is too old to care. My guess is Chait was behind it, although he probably put Klein up to it. If it ever comes out who did it, I bet it was Klein. But that it was done at Chait’s behest.

                  2. It would be great if he was caching all the listserv posts and just dumped them to Drudge or some other right wing blog to get back at whoever stabbed him in the back. I’m sure there has to be more incriminating and embarrassing stuff by other members on there.

                  3. Chait’s a pretty vindictive cock sucker…my money’s on him.

                  4. Didn’t Ezra start the group? either way, my wife banned me from reading his stuff, b/c I was ruining dinner almost nightly ranting about his health care posts. she got sick of it.

                    1. Yes. He started it. Every time I see a picture of Klein, all I can think is that he looks like some frat boy who would feed your girlfriend ruffies and try to rape her. He makes my flesh crawl.

                    2. What happens to Journolist when those on the list realize what happens in Journolist no longer stays in Journolist?

                    3. Lots of whining and hilarity will ensue.

                    4. Klein pretty much said he’s going to delete it.

                      Frankly, the description / defense of the “exclusive” club makes the whole list concept sounds pretty douchey. “Lefties and closet lefties only! Otherwise it’ll actually become a debate!

                      I still don’t know why people think Klein is some kind of savant or such; I have never seen him actually produce anything close to insightful ideas or analysis. Just a lot of smug, self-satisfied blather that tends to support the worldviews of those who actually can stand him. (But then, I suppose I’ve just answered my own question.)

        2. It really seemed sad and desperate at the time, and even more so now. I wonder if he realized that the cool kids were about to tell him he couldn’t eat lunch with them anymore.

      3. I can forgive him for arguing his indignity of the day, but it’ll take me a while to forgive him the mean spirit which he adopted in doing so. Perhaps Weigel was too quick to abandon whatever principled libertarianism he had in order to be granted access to the media elite, but he stood his ground on occassion and maintained a level of libertarian sympathies, and that is ultimately what did him in as it sounds to me.

        1. I’m not spoiled mom! I’m just as fresh and virginal like the day I was born, mom!

  22. huh, he’s kinda hot in a repressed gay guy way.

    1. The Art-P.O.G. likes this handle.^^^

    2. A Weigle email:

      “Follow-up to one hell of a day: Apparently, the Washington Examiner thought it would be fun to write up an item about my dancing at the wedding of Megan McArdle and Peter Suderman. Said item included the name and job of my girlfriend, who was not even there ? nor in DC at all.

      If that doesn’t scream gay…

  23. What was it that got Dave here a couple weeks ago?…I forgot.

    I do like the fact that Weigel came here personally to talk trash…that gained some respect from me actually.

    If that blue team emergency cheese guy(James Kotecki ) who interviewed Ron Paul in his dorm room can get a job, then I would bet Weigel will recover.

    I think Weigel will get another job. There is always work for someone to go to Kentucky and find some racist/rednecks that support Rand Paul.

    1. He came on here because people were killing him over his description of the Congress critter who assaulted the the guy video taping him as a “hug”. And yeah I give him credit for coming on, even though he mostly just whined.

      1. ooh ya, he wrote about it like the congressmen was a decent human being that just lost his temper a bit, instead of admitting that the guy was a feces and representative of how most politicians are and a perfect example of why we can’t trust these people to spend our money more wisely than we would ourselves.

    2. He’ll get hired by Media Matters or some other Soros- or Tides-funded outfit.

  24. LOL, rest assured if it benefits the sheeple, it will never happen.


  25. Rest assured, if it benefits the sheeple, it will never happen.

    1. The invisible “s” is some sort of clue.

  26. Whatever your feelings of sorriness for Weigel that the mean kids on the block beat him up, the fact remains that he was supposed to be covering the RIGHT and seems to have spent a hell of a lot time schmoozing the LEFT. A smart editor would ask what the hell chatting with Ezra Klein and Max Blumenthal all day had to do with original reporting on conservatives at a major newspaper. As he fired his ass.

    In any case, I think this did Weigel in because it quickly became obvious that he wouldn’t get his calls returned any faster than Rolling Stone will from the Pentagon from now on.

    1. All good points. The people at WAPO view conservatives and libertarians as some kind of exotic tribe. When you talk about Washington Lefty journalists, you are talking about some of the most narrowminded and sheltered people on earth. I doubt they realized who or what Weigel was much less had any idea if he had any connections on the right. They just saw he once worked for Reason and didn’t have horns like they expected him to and hired him.

      1. The horns would’ve been if he worked for National Review or AEI, I think Reason and Cato are still represented by the tophat and monocle.

        1. Who’s represented by the iron, the thimble, and the wheelbarrow?

          1. Iron – Unions
            Thimble – Palin supporting social conservatives (homemakers like to sow you know)
            Wheelbarrow – Union loving disabled veteran gay farmers (they are a small but influential constituency).

            1. Well done, John. I’m applauding.

              1. Agreed. Nicely done.

            2. Well done, though I thought the Wheelbarrow could’ve been Bernanke, Banksters, and the Fed.

              1. No. That would be a dump truck. Wheel barrows of cash is so last century.

      2. I think WaPo bosses are smarter than that. Weigel was supposed to help funnel real tea-party folks onto the Pro-fed-war-Palin train while continuing to find ways to smear the anti-fed, anti-war, Paul train as Palinesque – redneck-neocon- racists.

        It wasn’t working as well as they hoped so Weigel’s emails were leaked. Maybe Weigel kept all those old journolist emails?

        If Weigel wants to be a hero it is simple, release all those old emails one day at a time from his new blog. Ezra, Krugman, Yglesias…let people see how the talking points are disseminated.

        1. Fuck yeah. One e-mail a day. Don’t dump them out so they can get the pain over with. Dump them out one at a time. Sadly, I don’t think we are living well enough to ever see that happen.

  27. That’s too bad. Sounds like he got a little too comfortable in the Journolist echochamber, and somebody shivved him.

    I bet this puts a real damper on Journolist.

    1. hope so. would be great if they all turn on each other. some sort of hysteria.

    2. Damper? Apparently Klein is going to shut it down. Probably afraid of what else would come out, heh.

  28. examples of Weigel being a douche:
    his #3 “what I’m reading” item on his blog is to Mark Lilla’s “Tea Party Jacobins”
    quote:”As David Frum, one of the remaining lucid conservatives, has written to his wayward comrades,…”

    Only a douche could support a NYT piece of crap with that line in it.

  29. Could it be that the Post really wanted someone who was fair minded to provide an honest perspective of the right? Weigel certainly doesn’t fit that bill.

    1. No. They wanted someone who appeared that way. And after the e-mails, he certainly did not fit the bill.

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