Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mitch McConnell Stands In The Way Of Financing Disclosure Reform

The Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act - S.223 is a really simple bill requiring Senatorial candidates to file campaign finance reports in electronic form just like Presidential candidates and candidates for the House. Currently Senate reports are filed on paper via snail mail which seriously slows their availability to the press and other candidates. Sponsored by Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis) the bill has 40 co-sponsors and is a sure thing if it ever gets a vote.

Introduced in January the bill has been languishing under one of those secret holds for which the Senate is famous. As minority leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been hiding the identity of the Senator who has been blocking the bill. According to the Congress Gossip Blog, on Monday "Senator John Ensign (R-NV) came forward and identified himself as the senator who's been anonymously blocking passage." That solves one of life's little mysteries, right?

The answer after the break.

Not so fast, the Sunshine Foundation did a little additional digging and discovered that the culprit Mitch McConnell has been hiding is none other than Mitch McConnell. According to the Foundation,

Sunlight has learned that last week Democratic offices were given a Unanimous Consent agreement that would have allowed the Senate to move to S. 223 only if they agreed to take up a an amendment identical to the one introduced on Monday by Senator John Ensign. The consent agreement came from none other than the offices of Sen. Mitch McConnell, whom the Sunlight Foundation has targeted as a culprit in covering up the identity of the anonymous Senators previously blocking the bill. That the “McConnell amendment” is now being offered by Senator Ensign comes as no surprise to long time McConnell watchers, who are well aware that when it comes to reform, McConnell is often hiding behind the scenes, pulling all the strings.
The fact that McConnell's seat isn't safe doesn't have anything to do with his underhanded efforts to block the reform, does it?