Chuck Schumer bashes corporate giving in the act of shaking corporations down for campaign cash

Sen. Chuck Schumer’s pursuit of the DISCLOSE Act and his rhetoric about corporate influence in politics has always struck me as a bit odd, consider that he is the top recipient of campaign cash from three of the five most active industries, and his former banking staffer — now a bank lobbyist — is a key fundraiser for him.

The New York Post has a great piece on Schumer, DISCLOSE, and corporate cash, by former FEC commissioner Bradley Smith. A highlight:

In a fund-raising letter sent last month to Wall Street and various corporate political action committees (PACs), he says, “We’ve been making terrific progress with our DISCLOSE Act, the legislation we’ve proposed that would rein in corporate spending on elections.” Then the demand: “But while all that’s going on in Washington, right now I need your help with my campaign.”

Read the whole op-ed, and also check out my column on how Schumer and his co-sponsor Chris Van Hollen profit from the bill. A taste:

Lobbyists and K Street PACs have bundled $2.48 million for the DCCC this cycle. Van Hollen’s Republican counterpart — the National Republican Campaign Committee, has pocketed only about $520,000 in lobbyist-bundled cash.

Speech restrictions draw businesses to K Street, where politicians can more easily demand cash and cooperation. Who wants the First Amendment ruining such a fine arrangement?

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