Scott Brown Joins Washington Republicans To Block DISCLOSE ACT,
Still Won’t Disclose His Own NY Finance Committee Donors
It’s no surprise Brown blocked DISCLOSE Act since he still won’t answer questions about why he worked to weaken Wall St. reform
BOSTON – Today, Republican U.S. Senator Scott Brown sided with his Republican colleagues in the Senate in voting to filibuster the DISCLOSE Act, which would require interest groups to disclose their donors and stand by their political advertising. Brown’s vote against the DISCLOSE Act should not come as a surprise, given his own secrecy surrounding his New York City finance committee. Despite hosting lavish fundraisers with the secret committee and weakening Wall Street reform both before and after it passed into law, Brown has failed to disclose the list of committee members. He has also refused to answer a single question about his work to weaken reform on behalf of his campaign contributors.
“It’s no surprise Scott Brown is voting in lockstep with his Washington Republican friends to block the DISCLOSE Act, given his history of failing to disclose his New York finance committee list, and failing to disclose the truth about the role he played to weaken Wall St. reform,” said Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair John Walsh.
The Senate is set to vote tonight on the DISCLOSE Act, requiring outside groups spending over $10,000 to disclose that spending to the Federal Election Commission within one day of the expenditure. The legislation would also require groups to disclose the name of donors who give more than $10,000, and require groups running political ads to disclose the main funders of those advertisements. Brown has signaled his intention to vote to block these provisions tonight, as he did twice in 2010, when similar measures were proposed [Vote 220, 7/27/10; Vote 240, 9/23/10]. His vote tonight will help shield billionaires and corporations from disclosing the millions of dollars they’re spending to influence elections across the country.
Brown’s vote is in step with his own approach to campaign disclosures, as he has repeatedly refused to disclose details about his Wall Street fundraising and his efforts to weaken financial reform on his donors’ behalf. According to the Boston Globe, Scott Brown had a “special finance group” that met in upscale Manhattan restaurants. The story noted that, “Brown’s private fund-raising schedule for this past winter listed a March 12 event as an ‘Evening Reception with New York City Finance Committee’” [Boston Globe, 5/2/12]. Brown has refused to identify members of his New York fundraising committee, and according to the Worcester Telegram and Gazette won’t say if the committee includes officials from embattled bank JP Morgan. [Worcester Telegram & Gazette, 5/15/12].
Brown’s failure to come clean about his New York finance committee is particularly troubling in light of the fact that he worked behind closed doors to weaken Wall Street reform. After Dodd-Frank was passed, Brown and his staff secretly lobbied the Treasury Department to weaken the Volcker rule, which was designed to prevent banks from engaging in the same risky behavior that helped bring about the banking collapse in 2008