Shuler Protects the NRA, Fails the Rest of Us

The NRA leadership, far removed and unaccountable to their members, is one of the strongest opponents of the Democratic party up and down the ticket.

The fact that they co-opt some Democratic officials just makes them that much more dangerous to our party's success.

As you probably know, the US House of Representatives is poised to take up the DISCLOSE Act later this week. The act would require special-interest groups to disclose their top donors if they choose to run TV ads or send out mass mailings in the final months of an election. 

Now in a move that can only be called underhanded, Congressman Heath Shuler has brokered a deal in which the National Rifle Association(NRA) will cease its opposition to the DISCLOSE Act in exchange for getting itself - and only itself - exempted from campaign speech restrictions contained in the proposed legislation.

Put simply one of the largest and wealthiest lobbying groups will be exempt while smaller organizations will have no such protection.  Regardless of your position about the legislation in general, NCGV thinks you will agree with us that this special carve-out is undemocratic and dangerous. 

PLEASE ACT NOW:

Contact Representative Heath Shuler: Let Representative Shuler know he is in Washington to protect North Carolinians NOT the NRA.  Shuler can be reached at (828) 252-1651 or (202) 225-6401, or by e-mail HERE: https://shulerforms.house.gov/contact/

Contact Speaker Pelosi: Please call Speaker Pelosi's office to register your opposition to the NRA exemption to the campaign finance disclosure bill (H.R. 5175) that is moving in the House.   Call  the office at (202) 225-4965 or email the Speaker's office at: AmericanVoices@mail.house.gov

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Comments

Jerimee, quit trying to upset the delicate balance for Shuler

We need to get down on our knees and thank our lucky stars that a person like Shuler would agree to serve as a (cough) Democrat in his district.

Even if Shuler must carve out a special exemption in law to accommodate brazen acts against values we hold dear, well...that's the price we have to pay to keep a grand fellow like him in office.

Because we're all in the same party dammit, and party means more than our values!

Wait a minute. I must have been channelling others posters from another thread.

Nevermind.

 

Meeeeeeeoooowwww

Gosh, username, I think you're being a little bit catty instead of directly responding on the thread that inspired this little snark of a remark. I guess it's easier than answering substantively. Dunno what I'd say in your shoes, either, but I sure wouldn't be skulking around taking shots from another thread, so I guess we're just very different people.

sarcastic?

I think the original comment was sarcastic - sarcasm is hard to convey without tone of voice, body language, etc.

On that we agree

so I guess we're just very different people.

And thank Hera there are some of us left.

Forgive me for making use of a concrete and recent example of the failure of your philosophy.

You may resume making fundraising calls for Shuler now.

 

Hera is dead

I'm sorry to disappoint what appears to be a very strong sense of we/they, but I'm a liberal democrat, and very proud of it. If you think that no one can be a liberal democrat without sharing your concept of what makes political sense, or worse, if you assume that unless a person believes as you do, he or she is bereft of genuine "values," you're in for a hard road of hoeing.

I'm not a staffer or volunteer for Heath Shuler, and am not sure I understand what evidence you think would support the assumption. Nor is it clear to me what you think was a concrete example of my "failure of philosophy." In fact, I didn't even think you were trying to do that; it seemed to me your effort was simply aimed at expressing vitriol. I have no problem with vitriol, per se, but it doesn't substitute for argument, and you certainly haven't provided that -- not here nor in the original thread.

But you sure seem all bent out of shape about my disagreeing with ya!

This is a good message

I watch politics in North Carolina and your message here is good. I do wonder why you have that ending to your messages here by Edmund Burke though since he is considered the "father of modern conservative thought" and you say you are a liberal thinking person.

http://www.friesian.com/conserv.htm

Liberals don't have the market cornered on enlighted thought

It's just been such a long time since a conservative said anything that wasn't a fear or smear, you don't recognize that they ever could speak the truth.

Edmund Burke

Just because the man is a conservative doesn't mean he articulated nothing worth repeating. I think this particular quote rings true, don't you?

How did you single out Heath Shuler

It was my understanding Chris Von Hollen of Maryland is one behind this deal.

From the Politico article in the link...

North Carolina Rep. Heath Shuler, an NRA backer and conservative Democrat, proved to be pivotal to the NRA deal. Shuler was the first to offer an amendment to exempt the NRA and other nonprofits from the legislation, but that move drew objections from campaign watchdog groups.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0610/38500.html#ixzz0r2lpBhr1

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

For what ever reason

I can not get you link to connect. However, I have my doubts a two-term congressman who is not even 40 years old, could pull this kind of thing off alone. If he can he is alot more powerful than we think and he will probable be the next house speaker. However, a more likely thing is that the Democratic party in general has been trying to make peace with the NRA since the 2004 election and this is a good way to do it.

make peace with the NRA?

You can't make peace with the NRA - they are part of the GOP machine and have no desire to be anything else.

Regardless of if one supports the NRA or the Democratic Party, it is clearly wrong to have a bill that expressly exempts one particular interest or group. Everybody has to follow this law except Joe? That's clearly wrong.

The other reason to highlight Shuler is that he is a North Carolinian, he is your representative.

Since you can't get the link to open, below is the full text:

House Democrats have offered to exempt the National Rifle Association from a sweeping campaign-finance bill, removing a major obstacle in the push to roll back the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.

The NRA had objected to some of the strict financial disclosure provisions that Democrats have proposed for corporations and politically active nonprofits and that had kept moderate, pro-gun Democrats from backing the legislation.

But if the NRA signs off on the deal, the bill could come to the House floor as early as this week. The NRA said it would not comment until specific legislative language is revealed.

An NRA official also noted that the group would not be supporting the bill but would not actively oppose it if the deal with the Democratic leadership holds up.

The legislation in question is designed to restore more campaign finance rules in the wake of last year’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, which removed prohibitions on corporations and unions running TV ads opposing or backing candidates in the run-up to an election.

Democratic leaders fear the Citizens United decision could open the floodgates for corporate money to flow into this year’s midterm elections, which they believe would favor Republican interests.

The legislation, offered by Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, would require special-interest groups to disclose their top donors if they choose to run TV ads or send out mass mailings in the final months of an election.

Democrats are justifying the NRA exemption, saying the organization has a long history of being involved in the political process, and they say the real goal of the new campaign finance bill is to expose corporations and unions that create ambiguous front groups to run attack ads during campaigns. Unions would not be allowed to use the NRA exemption.

North Carolina Rep. Heath Shuler, an NRA backer and conservative Democrat, proved to be pivotal to the NRA deal. Shuler was the first to offer an amendment to exempt the NRA and other nonprofits from the legislation, but that move drew objections from campaign watchdog groups.

“There were a number of concerns that the DISCLOSE Act could hinder or penalize the efforts of certain long-standing, member-driven organizations who have historically acted in good faith,” Shuler said, referring to the NRA. “Most of those concerns are addressed within the manager’s amendment.”

The proposal would exempt organizations that have more than 1 million members, have been in existence for more than 10 years, have members in all 50 states and raise 15 percent or less of their funds from corporations. Democrats say the new language would apply to only the NRA, since no other organization would qualify under these specific provisions. The NRA, with 4 million members, will not actively oppose the DISCLOSE Act, according to Democratic sources.

The exemption for a huge group like the NRA is sure to outrage smaller special-interest groups.

Even if this deal represents a breakthrough for key House Democrats, there still isn’t much support from Republicans or Big Business. The Chamber of Commerce still opposes the legislation, and it’s not clear that the Senate will take it up even if the House passes it.

“This legislation is a threat to the First Amendment rights of businesses across the country. It represents a significant departure from past campaign-finance legislation, which sought to treat unions and corporations comparably and was framed in a genuinely bipartisan manner,” the Chamber and more than 100 other trade associations wrote in a May 27 letter sent to lawmakers.

House Republicans have largely opposed the DISCLOSE Act as well, seeing it as an attempt by Democrats to use the legislation to retain their majority. Only two Republicans — Reps. Mike Castle of Delaware and Walter Jones of North Carolina — have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill. By comparison, 114 Democrats are currently listed as co-sponsors.

“This bill is both a smoke screen to adopt still more restrictions on political speech in the name of ‘reform’ and an attempt to use Citizens United as a smoke screen to stifle criticism of Democrats in order to help their candidates retain office in the 2010 election,” Reps. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.), Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) wrote in a response to the bill when it was before the House Administration Committee.

A similar bill authored by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has been referred to the Senate Rules and Administration Committee — which Schumer chairs — but no action has been taken on it yet.

The legislation would also ban “electioneering activity” by government contractors or those companies that received Troubled Asset Relief Program funds; prohibit foreign-owned companies from engaging in political activities; and require corporations, unions and other nonprofits to provide a list of their top five funders when running TV ads or other campaign activities.

I just called...

...Shuler's Asheville office and talked to a friend who works there. They have been blindsided by this apparently. I expressed my extreme frustration, after having carried a sign all day in the rain on election day in 2006 in Waynesville when we ousted Chainsaw Charlie Taylor from Washington. For a year now, Shuler has basically turned his back on those who supported him in 2006.

Meet the new boss..same as the old boss...

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Shuler vs Taylor

Back in 2006, when many of us worked hard to oust Charles Taylor from Congress, we went in with eyes wide open to Heath Shuler's conservative bent, particularly on abortion issues. I think many of us decided that we could stomach that, given the bright prospect of a strong voice for environmental protection of our mountains. In particular, Mr. Shuler did step up to the plate and got something settled on the controversial North Shore Road.

But it turns out that the settlement that paid Swain County several million dollars in lieu of completing the "road to nowhere" has been just about the only issue where one can see a whit of difference between Mr. Shuler and Mr. Taylor. I know many fellow Democrats who voted for Axia Wilson in the primary, even though the nice enough Mr. Wilson really had no chance. And I know many fellow Democrats (me included) who will simply leave the ballot blank rather than support Mr. Shuler in November.

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Internalized demophobia

Thank you for not succubming to it.

Thank you for working hard to remove Taylor, but not allowing Shuler to use you and toss you aside.

If only every Congressional and legislative district in the state had voters like you...

Alas, internalized demophobia is the reason the party doesn't even recruit a candidate in every district, much less hold them accountable.