Campaign Finance

'Nobody Is Saying You Can't Run the Ads'?

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Today President Obama urged the Senate to pass the DISCLOSE Act, which the House approved last month:

The DISCLOSE Act would simply require corporate political advertisers to reveal who's funding their activities….You'd think that making these reforms would be a matter of common sense, particularly since they primarily involve just making sure that folks who are financing these ads are disclosed so that the American people can make up their own minds. Nobody is saying you can't run the ads—just make sure that people know who in fact is behind financing these ads.

In asserting that "nobody is saying you can't run the ads," Obama seems to have forgotten about the bill's ban on political ads sponsored by companies with government contracts and companies with 20 percent or more foreign ownership. He is also ignoring the prohibitive impact of mandating "stand by your ad" statements that can consume half of a 30-second TV spot, along with the chilling effect of requiring nonprofit interest groups to disclose their donors and comply with burdensome regulations.

If the DISCLOSE Act is all about transparency and has nothing to do with discouraging speech, why did its chief Senate sponsor, Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), say "the deterrent effect should not be underestimated"? Why did Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) say he hoped the bill "chills out…all sides" and "keep[s] all outside entities out"? Furthermore, if Obama really believes "the American people can make up their own minds," why does he object so vehemently to Citizens United v. FEC, which lifted restrictions on attempts to persuade them?

Previous coverage of the DISCLOSE Act here.

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  1. BUT TEH CORPORASHUNS AREN’T PEOPLE!

    1. So who’s prosecuted for the BP spill? The not people?

  2. http://www.earthtimes.org/arti…..spain.html

    30 five star hotel rooms in Spain. Remember that the next time they lecture the little people on carbon. Meanwhile, lets hear it.

    Well we’re movin on up,
    To the east side.
    To a deluxe apartment in the sky.
    Movin on up,
    To the east side.
    We finally got a piece of the pie.

    Fish don’t fry in the kitchen;
    Beans don’t burn on the grill.
    Took a whole lotta tryin’,
    Just to get up that hill.
    Now we’re up in the big leagues,
    Gettin’ our turn at bat.
    As long as we live, it’s you and me baby,
    There ain’t nothin wrong with that.

    Well we’re movin on up,
    To the east side.
    To a deluxe apartment in the sky.
    Movin on up,
    To the east side.
    We finally got a piece of the pie.

    1. How many vacations do these ass-hats need? And more importantly, how do we bar them from reentering the country?

      1. Cripes, John. Threadjack after only one comment?

  3. Jesus, does this administration tell the truth about anything? I mean, I’m used to people like this lying, but this shit is getting downright weird.

    1. They lie about everything. That is just what they do. But think about who Obama is. He spent his whole life surrounded by liberals. He has never had to make an honest argument in his life. He doesn’t know how.

      1. They lie even when they don’t have to.

      2. To be fair, he butted heads with Democratic bosses during his early political career. Liberals aren’t as friendly to each other as you might imagine.

    2. “It was not so much that he lied, as there was no truth to tell”
      — Hemingway, The Snows of Kilimanjaro.

    3. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

      Good one, Prole!

      1. …tell the truth about anything…

        NO. Damn that’s funny.

    4. It’s not a lie if you actually believe it.

      The 20% rule only affects those durn fureners.

      And the “chilling effect” is an externality. But it’s not the law as written.

      I think this delusional thought pattern is rather common, and is not liberal specific. Conservatives do it all the time regarding, among other things, tax cuts (“they’re magic economic engines!”) and the drug war (“all drug users are a drag on society”).

      And that’s the problem with trying to use the word “Lie”. Lie implies intentional deception. It does not account for delusional thinking.

      1. I don’t give a shit about their delusions. If they’re unable to relate to reality, they need to go away.

        What the hell is wrong with voters that we tolerate this crap? While the present government seems worse than usual, it’s not like their predecessors were much better.

        1. Obama is pathological, no doubt. His beautiful world is crumbling around him, and it’s taking its toll on his sanity. The man really does need professional help.

          1. Maybe he should go on Dr. Phil.

            1. He’s going on The View. Close enough?

              1. I confess that I had heard something about him being the first sitting president stupid enough to appear on daytime television.

                1. I hear Whoopi is going to put on a bra for the occasion.

                  1. Our times have become truly surreal.

                    1. They’re taking Barbara Walters out of her coffin for a surprise cameo.

  4. Nobody at Reason was saying you can’t run the carpet-humper ads anymore, but when was the last time you saw that guy around here?

    Yeah.

  5. I got something I’d like to “disclose” on a stick. Wanna see it?

    1. You can do that stuff on my new, foreign-made, 70-foot yacht which I store in another state to avoid taxes.

      But Bill can’t come. I’m still pissed at him.

  6. just making sure that folks who are

    I am sick and fucking tired of hearing this mendacious “Constitutional scholar” use the term “folks”.

    Many folks say, “Take your faux-colloquialisms and shove them up your ass, Mister president.”

    1. “Mendacious”. What a perfect word.

      1. Pair it with “officious” and you have a decent two-word characterization of the administration.

    2. Honestly. “Folk” is already plural.

      Did saying “folks” all the time start with GW Bush, or have presidents done that for longer.

      1. Did saying “folks” all the time start with GW Bush, or have presidents done that for longer.

        It started about the same time we stopped ending questions with a question mark.

        1. When was that.

  7. “and companies with 20 percent or more foreign ownership.”

    Such as BP??? It is easier to screw people who cannot defend themselves.

  8. So who are these people who will believe anything they hear in an anonymous ad, but will make up their own minds if it is disclosed who is paying for the ad? And how fucking stupid do they think people are? (I know, everyone thinks everyone else is stupid).

  9. I really wanted granola. That’s what I had on my grocery list. But, holy shit, one look at Count Chocula and I was completely helpless.

    1. This is an issue that goes to whether or not we’re going to have a government that works for ordinary Americans; a government of, by and for the people.

      Psst! Mr. President! Shhh! Stop, Sir!

  10. This dishonest fuck likes to lecture us about common sense, doesn’t he?

  11. What the hell is wrong with voters that we tolerate this crap?

    I blame Woodrow Wilson.

    I blame that fucker for everything.

    1. Even sexting?

      1. Nah, that was FDR’s doing.

        1. FDR was Wilson’s Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

          FDR’s Administration was filled with old Wilson Administration veterans which is why you don’t hear about how unpopular Wilson was or the ugly side of his administration — the American Protective League, the Creel Committee, the Red Scare and the Palmer Raids…

  12. Unfortunately, there’s probably no political system on earth where the rulers don’t write the laws in their own favor.

  13. So, if I’m reading this correctly, that means there are people out there who are still watching television?

    Really?

    1. Heck yeah. I watch a lot. I try to be well-rounded. I also use the word “folks” now and then–have for decades. It’s useful. But, I’m also not above saying “y’all.” And now, for my final non-sequitur, you can so prove a negative (I’m talking to you, talking heads). For example, this comment does not contain the last letter of the alphabet.

    2. Hey, I watch a ton of TV. Advertisements on the other hand…

      1. Hey, don’t give ’em any ideas!

        They might add something requiring Tivo, etc. to show political advertising regardless…

        ’cause what’s the point of censoring political speech if nobody’s watching it in the first place?

  14. Especially sexting. Fucking sexually repressed Calvinist retards.

    I wonder how many college history professors actually tell their students what an evil bastard Woodrow Wilson was (mine certainly did not); probably no more than you could count without taking your shoes off.

    1. I actually had a favorite professor in college. The first lecture I ever had with him he called Woodrow Wilson the root of all evil.

      At the time I didn’t get it. But now I do.

      I also understand why regaining control of the schools is vital. Though I suspect we have already lost for at least a century.

  15. No one’s saying you can’t run the ad. They’re just saying that afterwards, you’ll be sorry you ever did.

  16. If the DISCLOSE Act is all about transparency and has nothing to do with discouraging speech, why did its chief Senate sponsor, Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), say “the deterrent effect should not be underestimated”?

    Chuck Shumer’s answering machine:

    “Honey, you forgot to take your medication today, so please do not give any press releases or interviews!”

  17. Furthermore, if Obama really believes “the American people can make up their own minds,” why does he object so vehemently to Citizens United v. FEC, which lifted restrictions on attempts to persuade them?

    Maybe, just maybe (and it may seem like a stretch, but bear with me guys):

    He really doesn’t mean what he says.

    It’s possible.

    1. To Obama every day is opposite day.

    2. He means exactly what he says. But telling the people what to think is the president’s job, not some collection of folks who want to petition the government or such.

  18. “‘Nobody Is Saying You Can’t Run the Ads’?”

    Nope.
    They’ll just make it so expensive, no one can afford to.
    See how easy it is to ‘tell the truth’ while lying?

    1. “They’ll just make it so expensive, no one can afford to.”

      Sounds like the Libertarian approach to health care. “It’s not rationing if the market does it!”

  19. Mr. President, the ACLU opposes the Disclose Act. That ought to tell you something.

  20. companies with 20 percent or more foreign ownership.

    So the government can’t place ads?

  21. I’d like to see an ad that simply says “Vote for such-and-such” followed by 25+ seconds of “this ad sponsored by” boilerplate — with an explicit mention that the legalese is required by the DISCLOSE Act.

    1. Maybe they can do the required disclosure part in triple-speed, like radio car ads. ThismessagepaidforbyFriendsofGovernorBlowhardpoliticalActionCommittee.GovernorBlowhardapprovedthismessageandhasonewifeand fourchildrennamedJohnBuffyKipandSallyandacampaignbudgetoftwelvemilliondollars.

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