Hinckley seizing on campaign finance issue to rap Whitehouse

Jul 17, 2012

UPDATE: Whitehouse strikes back.

Shortly after the end of Hinckley’s news conference this afternoon, Whitehouse released a statement criticizing the GOP:

Today, for a second day in a row, Senate Republicans blocked debate on the DISCLOSE Act, a bill to end secret spending in elections by corporations and other groups.  The vote failed to overcome a filibuster by a vote of 53 in favor to 45 against.  60 votes were required.  Following the vote, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the following statement:

“I’m disappointed that so many of my Republican colleagues, many of whom have clearly supported disclosure in the past, chose today to once again defend secret spending by special interests rather than stand up for the voices of the middle class.  However, I’m also optimistic that ultimately, we will pass this bill, or something like it, to end secret spending and defend the voices of the middle class.

In his statement, Whitehouse holds out hope that growing support will yield more progress for greater disclosure on campaign contributors.

Hinckley, meanwhile, used his newser to call for a greater focus on jobs and to criticize Whitehouse for leaving the Senate floor debate last night to attend a nonprofit educational fundraiser.


Republican Barry Hinckley is slated to hold a 3:30 news conference this afternoon outside Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s Providence office to discuss Whitehouse’s departure from the Senate during debate last night on his DISCLOSE Act.

BuzzFeed offers these details:

Whitehouse didn’t go far – the event was held at Johnny’s Half Shell, a tony bar located less than a quarter mile from the Senate chamber that is a popular venue for fundraisers by politicians, lobbyists, political groups, and non-profits like the Alliance, an educational group that does not take positions on legislation, including ObamaCare, and which backs “affordable, quality health care and long-term care for all Americans.”

Because of its status as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, the Alliance is not required to disclose donors. But unlike political 501(c)4 organizations, it does not appear to be covered by Whitehouse’s bill, which targets SuperPACs and other outside organization engaged in direct political activity.

According to Whitehouse’s office, “Whitehouse was not raising money for his campaign this evening … He briefly stepped away from the Senate floor to drop by an event benefitting the Alliance for Health Reform, a non-profit, nonpartisan health policy organization.”