Transparency!? We don’t need no stinkin’ transparency! On Monday, Republicans in the Senate joined together to filibuster and kill the latest attempt by Democrats to inject transparency in our elections. Despite receiving a majority of votes in the Senate, the DISCLOSE Act, which would have forced any political organization spending more than $10,000 in our election to disclose their donors, didn’t get the 60 votes needed to break a Republican filibuster.
Just like in 2010, corporate organizations like the Chamber of Commerce and the NRA were able to either intimidate or bribe enough Senators to vote “no” and preserve their ability to raise and spend unlimited funds from who or whatever they’d like – including Saudi princes, Chinese business tycoons, and, heck, even dictators like Mahmoud Ahmedenijad. Even previously staunch supporters of campaign finance reform like Republican Senators John McCain, Olympia Snowe, and Scott Brown voted against the DISCLOSE Act, now that they realize all the outside secret cash is benefiting many more Republicans than Democrats this election cycle.
We already know shady, foreign money is being funneled into this election. According to an investigation by the PBS and ProPublica, Mitt Romney’s biggest donor Sheldon Adelson, who made his fortune running casinos in Chinese Macau and did business with known Chinese gang members, yet Mitt Romney is gladly accepting Adelson’s help to defeat President Obama. Meanwhile, two of Paul Ryan's biggest donors are Swiss Banks! Welcome to American democracy in the 21st century – up for sale to the highest anonymous bidder.