"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Democrats Choose Partisanship Over Creating Jobs

July 27th, 2010 by Samuel Clemons · No Comments

Two weeks ago, President Obama used his weekly address to attack Republicans, blaming them for holding up a bill he says will help small businesses in the struggling economy. Obama said, “[T]hree times, a minority of Senators – basically the same crowd who said ‘no’ to small businesses – said ‘no’ to folks looking for work, and blocked a straight up-or-down vote.” And last week, the President again urged the Senate to move on small business legislation, saying, “[O]ur goal is to make sure the people who are looking for a job can find a job.  And that’s why it’s so important for the Senate to pass the additional steps that I’ve asked for to cut taxes and expand lending for America’s small businesses, our most important engine for hiring and for growth.” But today, President Obama and Senate Democrats are asking the Senate to set aside that small business bill and instead take up the partisan DISCLOSE Act, a campaign finance reform bill that will not create jobs. In fact, as Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander pointed out on the floor this morning, “This is a piece of legislation that is primarily about saving the jobs of Democratic Members of Congress.”


The Wall Street Journal takes a dim view of this awful bill in an excellent editorial today: “[W]hat [Democrats have] proposed is a blatantly partisan bill sponsored by two Members whose main duty is electing Democrats. The House version, which passed last month on partisan lines, is sponsored by Representative Chris Van Hollen, who runs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The companion bill in the Senate was introduced by Charles Schumer, the two-time head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee . . . .”  The WSJ also lays out some of the worst partisan provisions in the bill. “In the name of ‘transparency,’ the Schumer-Van Hollen legislation tilts the playing field in favor of Democratic candidates by taking direct aim at corporate speech. . . . Even provisions that ostensibly apply to both corporations and unions would in practice mostly restrict the ability of corporations to participate in elections. For example, the government contractor restriction applies to those with contracts of $10 million or more, a threshold met by many corporations but few unions. Another provision allows political donations under $600 to be made anonymously. As it happens, the average union member pays annual dues below that amount, while the typical corporate donation exceeds it. Thus the donor-disclosure requirement would effectively apply to corporate speech while allowing Big Labor to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on political advertising without revealing donor identities.”

If there was any doubt about the partisan nature of the Schumer-Van Hollen bill, it would go into affect almost immediately, designed to protect politicians in this November’s elections, barely 100 days away. Even the deeply flawed Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 delayed its effects until the following election cycle.

And that’s all without getting into the backroom deals with special interest groups designed to secure votes for this bill. As the WSJ writes, “Democratic attempts to win support for these faux reforms have been equally cynical. Lawmakers have cut deals with the National Rifle Association, the Sierra Club and a few other powerful special interests to exempt them from the new restrictions and, most importantly, remove them as potential obstacles to the bill’s passage.”

This is the change we can believe in?

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