WBUR

Sen. Brown To Vote Against DISCLOSE Act

BOSTON — Republican Sen. Scott Brown says he will cast a critical vote against a bill Democrats hoped he would support as they try to nullify a recent Supreme Court fundraising decision.

The newly elected Massachusetts senator said in a letter to five good-government advocacy groups the so-called DISCLOSE Act “changes the rules in the middle of the game.”

He says it will give “a tactical and political advantage” to labor unions little more than 100 days before an election.

National League of Women Voters President Elizabeth MacNamara says the legislation won’t advance without support from the Republican.

“Sen. Brown’s vote is critical to getting this legislation in place before the 2010 election,” she said. “This vote will tell us whether Sen. Brown has been captured by Washington or is still speaking for the people of Massachusetts.”

The act is sponsored by New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer. He complains the high court itself changed key fundraising rules with its January decision easing restrictions that had barred corporations from paying for political ads.

Last week, Brown angered many in the GOP when he announced he would support a narrowly divided financial regulatory bill.

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  • Ellen Dibble

    I don’t know if the “five good-government advocacy groups” are telling Senator Brown in rebuttal, but someone who knows the Disclose Act well should take the lead in explaining. It seems to me the labor unions should also be transparent about their contributions, and if Senator Brown could make a narrow deal such that banks did not have to pay a special tax to cover wrap-ups in crisis situations, then he can make a narrow deal to have the labor unions set forth their contributions as well. I’d be a lot happier to see the global transparency, if he could pull that off, than the tax reductions for the banks, but what do I know.

  • Nicole Knobloch

    It would be helpful if this piece described what the DISCLOSE act would do.

  • Linda Phillips

    The bill also carves out an exemption for the NRA – the price of their not shooting it down. That should relieve Sen. Brown’s mind and make it nonpartisan!

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