Real Clear Politics has a remarkable video of Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) speaking out in support of the DISCLOSE Act. According to Rep. Johnson, the law is necessary because, otherwise, “we will see more Republicans getting elected” in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC.
It’s unusual to see an incumbent politician openly express his desire to use campaign finance regulation to stifle advocacy for his political opponents. That sort of candor is usually reserved for closed-door meetings, like the one earlier this week at which DISCLOSE Act sponsor Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) is reported to have warned fellow Democrats that they “would find themselves in electoral trouble this fall should the bill not pass.”
Between these comments and the recent NRA carve-out, if the DISCLOSE Act passes, the judges who decide the inevitable legal challenge should be appropriately skeptical of the sponsors’ supposedly lofty goals. Respect for the First Amendment requires nothing less.