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McConnell calls Obama ‘thuggish’ over opposition to Citizens United

By David Edwards
Friday, June 15, 2012 12:33 EDT
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Mitch McConnell speaks to Faith and Freedom Coalition
 
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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Friday accused President Barack Obama’s administration of using “thuggish” tactics to promote campaign finance reform.

During a speech to the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference, McConnell said that liberals were using “bullying” and “intimidation” to thwart the free speech rights of conservatives.

“The administration’s most prominent effort to limit speech is the so-called DISCLOSE Act, a bill the grew out of the president’s very public and unseemly rebuke of the U.S. Supreme Court in early 2010,” the Kentucky Republican explained. “An attempt to get around the court’s decision in Citizens United, this proposed law would compel grassroots groups to disclose the names of their supporters.”

“This administration claims that the goal of this bill is transparency, but the enthusiasm with which it has embraced the thuggish tactics of the left suggests that its true goal is to silence critics,” he added. “A growing number of people on the political left and now within the government itself have appeared to have concluded that they can’t win on the merits. So, they’ve resorted to bullying and intimidation instead.”

“When you’ve got an administration that’s willing to throw core constitutional protections out the window for the sake of an election — whether its religious freedom or the freedom to speak without fear of intimidation — we’re in very dangerous territory.”

The Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act or DISCLOSE Act was first introduced by Democrats in 2010 after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC ruling that allowed unlimited contributions and corporate funds to flow into political campaigns.

The legislation aims to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 by prohibiting government contractors from making expenditures in elections, banning foreign influence in U.S. elections and forcing corporations to disclose campaign expenditures.

Democrats in the House passed the measure in 2010, but it was blocked by Republicans in the Senate. Democratic senators introduced an updated version of the bill in March of this year.

Watch this video from CNN, broadcast June 15, 2012.

 
David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
 
 
 
 
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