WASHINGTON -- Looking for a little late-night campaign disclosure politics? Click over to C-SPAN2, as Senate Democrats plan to keep the Senate open well past midnight Eastern time to protest a Republican filibuster of the Disclose Act.
Senate Democrats tried Monday to advance the bill, which would require campaign groups to more fully identify their financial contributors in response to the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in the Citizens United case.
But the effort failed without the 60 votes needed to break the GOP-led filibuster. The Democrats are seeking a do-over vote on Tuesday.
“We are committed to continuing the debate on the Disclose Act late into the night and asking for a second vote tomorrow,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.). “We can’t let the special interests off the hook after just one round.”
The legislation would mandate disclosure within 24 hours on spending of $10,000 or more and the identity of donors of $10,000 or more. The bill comes as outside groups are dropping enormous sums into the 2012 election, much of it expected for GOP candidates.
Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the GOP leader and one of Congress’ most vocal supporters of campaign spending as a 1st Amendment right, led the opposition.
“The purpose of this legislation is clear: After Citizens United, Democrats realized they couldn’t shut up their critics,” McConnell said. “So they decided to go after the microphone instead, by trying to scare off the funders.”
After the mostly party-line vote Monday, members of the Senate’s Citizens United Task Force were set to continue the debate, launching what they said would become a late-night session on campaign finance reform.
Watch for Democratic Sens. Tom Udall of New Mexico, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Michael Bennet of Colorado and -- a former late-night favorite of some -- Al Franken of Minnesota.