Tricky Mitch

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Remember Senator Mitch McConnell's efforts to shield the Republican Senator who put an anonymous hold on S.223, a bill to require electronic disclosure of Senators' campaign finance reports, even though McConnell is on the record in support of transparency? Well, it's just gotten stranger.

According to CQ Today and Paul Blumenthal at the Sunlight Foundation, McConnell organized Republicans to oppose Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) advancement of S.1, the big lobbying overhaul package, until they got a vote on S.223 (the very bill upon which an anonymous hold was placed by a Republican with McConnell's knowledge). Ah, but not just a simple vote -- Senator Bob Bennett (R-UT) wanted to attach S.223 to S.1, with room for an amendment, presumably the same amendment he tried to originally attach to S.223, described thusly by Blumenthal:

 

That amendment would allow party committees, like the RNC or the DSCC, to coordinate campaign activities with candidate committees. Bennett's amendment is widely opposed by the majority Democrats and would not only make S. 223's passage impossible in conference or in the House of Representatives, but would endanger the entire lobbying and ethics reform package.

Reid blocked the amendment and no progress was made on S.1. Well, that was a fun little game -- let's play again next week! Or not!

How about instead we get a vote on S.223 on its merits to bring the Senate at least level with the House when it comes to timely public disclosure of who is funding whose campaign. Enough with the games.