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McCain does about-face on grassroots reform bill
The Hill ^ | January 18, 2007 | Alexander Bolton

Posted on 01/18/2007 7:47:15 AM PST by neverdem

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has told conservative activists that he will vote to strip a key provision on grassroots lobbying from the reform package he previously supported.

The provision would require grassroots organizations to report on their fundraising activities and is strongly opposed by groups such as the National Right to Life Committee, Gun Owners of America, and the American Civil Liberties Union.

While grassroots groups on both sides of the political spectrum oppose the proposal, social conservative leaders such as Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, who broadcasts a radio program to hundreds of thousands of evangelical Christians, have been its most vehement critics.

McCain sponsored legislation last Congress that included an even broader requirement for grassroots lobbying coalitions to reveal their financial donors. But now he will vote to defeat a similar measure.

It would be politically dangerous for McCain to support disclosure because it would anger many conservative activists, including those who advocate against abortion rights or for gun ownership rights. He is courting many of them for his 2008 presidential campaign. McCain’s presidential exploratory committee announced yesterday that Maxine Sieleman, a socially conservative leader who founded the Iowa chapter of Concerned Women for America, had joined its camp.

In letters circulated on Capitol Hill this week, the National Right to Life Committee and Gun Owners of America warned senators that votes on the grassroots lobbying provision would affect legislative scorecards they tabulate for each lawmaker.

Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) has sponsored the amendment to the lobbying reform package that would strip the provision. His amendment is expected to come to the floor for a vote today, said advocates opposing it.

Bennett said he was “a little” surprised to hear that McCain would support him but was “delighted.” McCain is considered one of the most authoritative voices on ethics- and lobbying-related issues in the Senate.

“It’s a very high priority,” said Douglas Johnson, director of legislative affairs for the National Right to Life Committee. Johnson said ordinary grassroots activists from Arizona who had called McCain’s office were told by aides that he would support Bennett’s amendment.

Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the conservative American Center for Law and Justice, told The Hill that he had received confirmation from McCain’s staff yesterday that he would oppose the disclosure proposal.

“It’s huge,” Sekulow said of the issue’s importance. “It’s the most significant restriction on grassroots activity in recent history. I’d put it up there with the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act.”

McCain was the chief sponsor of the landmark 2002 campaign finance bill, a history that still angers many conservatives. They cite McCain’s sponsorship of that legislation as something that makes them wary about supporting his presidential bid. But McCain’s recent action could redefine him.

“He’ll do everything he can to appeal to conservatives he has already tried to silence,” said John Velleco, director of federal affairs at Gun Owners of America, referring to McCain’s support of campaign finance reform. “I think he’s trying to gain the support of conservatives as much as he can.”

“Romney’s doing the same thing,” Velleco added, explaining that McCain’s rival for the nomination, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, is re-evaluating his past positions on gun ownership rights.

While McCain has privately told conservative groups that he will side with them, he was not ready to reveal his position yesterday. He opened yesterday’s floor debate with a 15-minute speech on the lobbying reforms under consideration. While he urged his colleagues to support the creation of an office of public integrity, he made no mention of grassroots lobbying.

Immediately afterward he declined to state his position on grassroots disclosure.

“I’ll address it when it comes up,” he told The Hill.

But McCain’s spokeswoman, Eileen McMenamin, confirmed that he would support the Bennett amendment.

“Initially when Sen. McCain introduced legislation last year it had a grassroots provision,” she said. “Subsequent to that that he got a lot of feedback from groups that the requirements would be too onerous on them because of the reporting requirements.”

McMenamin added that a grassroots lobbying disclosure requirement was not included in reform legislation McCain introduced at the beginning of this month.

Johnson, of the National Right to Life Committee, said that there is confusion about which groups would be affected by the pending regulation.

“Under Section 220, anyone who is paid anything by an organization that spends any money at all to encourage more than 500 members of the general public to communicate with members of Congress, if he or she also has contacted congressional offices directly as few as two times, and has spent as little as 20 percent of his or her time on such direct lobbying and grassroots-motivating activities, would be required to register with Congress as a ‘lobbyist’ and file detailed quarterly reports,” wrote Johnson in a letter to Senate offices, adding, “If enacted, it will disrupt the constitutionally protected activities of thousands of issue-oriented citizen groups from coast to coast. …”

McCain’s past allies in battles to reform government strongly support disclosure and were surprised to discover his position had changed.

“We saw him supporting it last year,” said Craig Holman, a lobbyist for Public Citizen.

“It surprises me and it will surprise the rest of the reform community. I was really expecting him not to get involved in that provision and I had received no indication from his office that he was leaning against it.”


TOPICS: Breaking News; Constitution/Conservatism; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2008election; banglist; censorship; firstamendment; flipflop; freespeech; johnmccain; mccain; pajamapeoplerule; stalinistlaw
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1 posted on 01/18/2007 7:47:17 AM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem

I don't say this often but... Good for McCain.


2 posted on 01/18/2007 7:48:48 AM PST by NeoCaveman (good luck beats early rising)
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To: neverdem

He was for the provision before he was against it.


3 posted on 01/18/2007 7:48:59 AM PST by dirtboy (Duncan Hunter - a candidate who doesn't need infomercials to convince you he's a conservative)
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To: neverdem

This is too funny! McCain wanted to stifle the Christian Right, but now that James Dobson is opposing him, McCain is changing his mind. What a spineless, two-faced typical politician. McCain should be rejected by anyone who has a sense of self respect.


4 posted on 01/18/2007 7:49:35 AM PST by TommyDale (If we don't put a stop to this global warming, we will all be dead in 10,000 years!)
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To: neverdem

Can you say 2008??


5 posted on 01/18/2007 7:49:55 AM PST by Mo1 (PLEASE SUPPORT FREE REPUBLIC AND DONATE)
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To: Mo1
Can you say 2008??

Of course.

it's rare that a nypolitician does anything for any reason other than an election

6 posted on 01/18/2007 7:51:36 AM PST by NeoCaveman (good luck beats early rising)
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To: neverdem

I'll believe it when it happens.


7 posted on 01/18/2007 7:51:56 AM PST by svcw (There is no plan B.)
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To: neverdem

McCain/Kerry F the POWS/MIAS
McCain/Feingold F Free Speech
McCain/Kennedy F American Sovereignty
McCain/Keating Money theft

Enough said.


8 posted on 01/18/2007 7:52:53 AM PST by HuntsvilleTxVeteran ("Remember the Alamo, Goliad and WACO, It is Time for a new San Jacinto")
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To: neverdem
I'll never vote for him. The man is an opportunist as well as a rank demagogue. He's changing his anti-free speech stand only because the presidential season is near. John McCain cannot be trusted to preserve the liberties of the American people.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

9 posted on 01/18/2007 7:54:56 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: NeoCaveman

He only does it as a matter of momentary expediency.

Once president, he'd probably require bootlicking by everyone not named McCain.


10 posted on 01/18/2007 7:57:19 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it! Supporting our troops means praying for them to WIN!)
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To: neverdem

I don't trust him.


11 posted on 01/18/2007 7:58:27 AM PST by Brilliant
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To: neverdem
Now that it is McCain's message that needs to get out McCain is all of a sudden a supporter of Freedom of Speech?

Pathetic.
12 posted on 01/18/2007 7:58:43 AM PST by msnimje (You simply cannot be Christian and Pro-Abortion.)
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To: xzins
Once president, he'd probably require bootlicking by everyone not named McCain.

Probably.

13 posted on 01/18/2007 7:59:16 AM PST by NeoCaveman (good luck beats early rising)
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To: neverdem

Hmmm ... seems to be a politician without principles ... who'da thunk?


14 posted on 01/18/2007 8:00:28 AM PST by One_who_hopes_to_know
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To: neverdem

I'm glad he will oppose this, but it doesn't change my mind about him. He wants the provision, but doesn't find it politically expedient at this time.

He is also still in favor of yet another bureacracy with this ridiculous and pointless Office of Public Integrity (LOL, things are almost always the opposite of what they are named), increased cost to the taxpayer with no benefit at all.


15 posted on 01/18/2007 8:03:40 AM PST by Bahbah (.Regev, Goldwasser & Shalit, we are praying for you.)
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To: NeoCaveman

McLame is beginning to see that Conservatives are serious about not supporting him because of his liberal views.


16 posted on 01/18/2007 8:06:09 AM PST by conservative blonde (Let's call the Jr. Senator from Illinois by his full name, Barack Hussein Obama)
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To: neverdem

The illusion of grassroots politics (on the left)

Leftists in Search of Permanent Democrat Majority (IMPORTANT Read -- Soros and leftists org)
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1769370/posts?page=43#43


17 posted on 01/18/2007 8:07:17 AM PST by listenhillary (You can lead a man to reason, but you can't make him think)
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To: One_who_hopes_to_know

To call McCain a whore would be an insult... to whores!!


18 posted on 01/18/2007 8:07:31 AM PST by LiveFree99
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To: neverdem
"McCain is considered one of the most authoritative authoritarian voices on ethics- and lobbying-related issues in the Senate."
19 posted on 01/18/2007 8:07:32 AM PST by HoosierHawk
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To: TommyDale

I think you read that wrong - Dobson and McCain are on the same side. However, reading the article is very hard because its written cryptic, as if they author is trying to portray conservatives as being bad for being against this bill which crushes free speech.


20 posted on 01/18/2007 8:07:44 AM PST by KC_Conspirator
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To: neverdem

Court the conservatives to win the election, then vote against them constantly while in office.

Hmmm. . . what current president does this sound like?


21 posted on 01/18/2007 8:09:27 AM PST by webstersII
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To: TommyDale

This provision affected all groups: left, right and center.
There appears to be unity across the political spectrum on this. Senator Ethics will lead the charge for Truth, Justice and the American Way as soon as his white horse is prepared.


22 posted on 01/18/2007 8:12:53 AM PST by justshutupandtakeit (If you believe ANYTHING in the Treason Media you are a fool.)
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To: KC_Conspirator
I didn't read anything wrong. It's right there in the headline and in the first line of the article:

"Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has told conservative activists that he will vote to strip a key provision on grassroots lobbying from the reform package he previously supported."

When McCain first supported it, Dobson turned against McCain. When McCain found the 800 pound gorilla of the Christian Right was opposing him, he changed his position. McCain is a snake.

23 posted on 01/18/2007 8:13:13 AM PST by TommyDale (If we don't put a stop to this global warming, we will all be dead in 10,000 years!)
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To: goldstategop; xzins; All

From straight talk to shameless, who cares about what? The Constitution that he swore to uphold, or statists at Common Cause, which is the question? IMHO, he's toast & good riddance, even if he belatedly recognizes the First Amendment.


24 posted on 01/18/2007 8:16:46 AM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: TommyDale

McNut just started the old Flip-Flop,Flip-Flop.No one should should vote for this nut.


25 posted on 01/18/2007 8:19:43 AM PST by jocko12
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To: webstersII

Hillary?


26 posted on 01/18/2007 8:20:50 AM PST by Osage Orange ("The man who most vividly realizes a difficulty is the man most likely to overcome it.")
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To: justshutupandtakeit
"Senator Ethics will lead the charge for Truth, Justice and the American Way as soon as his white horse is prepared."

Here is his white horse:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

27 posted on 01/18/2007 8:22:35 AM PST by TommyDale (If we don't put a stop to this global warming, we will all be dead in 10,000 years!)
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To: neverdem
McCain / Feingold - 2008 ... "Shut Up or Go To Prison"
28 posted on 01/18/2007 8:22:58 AM PST by Uncle Miltie (McCain / Feingold - 2008 ... "Shut Up or Go To Prison")
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To: neverdem
McCain is considered one of the most authoritative voices on ethics and lobbying related issues in the Senate.

Says who?!

I guess they forgot Keating 5. I wonder how they THINK McCain gets his campaign cash?!

29 posted on 01/18/2007 8:24:31 AM PST by kcvl
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To: conservative blonde
"McLame is beginning to see that Conservatives are serious about not supporting him because of his liberal views."

But is the GOP beginning to see it? McCain has been the annointed one of the party. Perhaps the message of the people is starting to sink in. One can only hope.

30 posted on 01/18/2007 8:25:08 AM PST by maxter
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To: neverdem

McCain sees his poll numbers slipping and is trying to head off disaster by placating the base......now that he needs them.


31 posted on 01/18/2007 8:25:27 AM PST by TomGuy
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To: conservative blonde
McLame is beginning to see that Conservatives are serious about not supporting him because of his liberal views.

McCain brought us Soros, Soros anti-American money, and the extreme left wing 527's (Busted numerous times for turning in thousands of bogus absentee ballots).
Sure, I'll vote for McCain - NOT!!! Maybe ACORN can print him up a few new "extra" voters.

32 posted on 01/18/2007 8:25:35 AM PST by concerned about politics ("Get thee behind me, Liberal.")
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To: TommyDale

Wait till he puts the spurs to that baby.


33 posted on 01/18/2007 8:30:57 AM PST by justshutupandtakeit (If you believe ANYTHING in the Treason Media you are a fool.)
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To: neverdem

McCain voted FOR the provision before he voted against it....good move, Kerry Lite.


34 posted on 01/18/2007 8:34:40 AM PST by cake_crumb (When "bipartisan study groups" prosecute wars, you get Another Viet Nam)
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To: Bahbah
"I'm glad he will oppose this, but it doesn't change my mind about him. He wants the provision, but doesn't find it politically expedient at this time"

'Course he wants the provision. He sponsered the bill. This is a jackbooted step to the left of his baby CFR, but now that he knows it'll cost him VOTES, John "I Have a Mandate" McStain is flip flopping. But only with his mouth.

35 posted on 01/18/2007 8:38:20 AM PST by cake_crumb (When "bipartisan study groups" prosecute wars, you get Another Viet Nam)
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To: TommyDale

Good one!


36 posted on 01/18/2007 8:39:58 AM PST by cake_crumb (When "bipartisan study groups" prosecute wars, you get Another Viet Nam)
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To: NeoCaveman

> I don't say this often but... Good for McCain.

Don't go thinking warm, fuzzy thoughts just yet. McCain is campaigning like crazy for your conservative vote. If he ever gets in power, expect the "new" McCain to disappear like smoke.

This guy is not genuinely changing his mind.


37 posted on 01/18/2007 8:44:02 AM PST by VictoryGal (Never give up, never surrender!)
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To: neverdem
McCain: "Clean Government" More Important Than 1st Amendment
"He [Michael Graham] also mentioned my abridgement of First Amendment rights, i.e. talking about campaign finance reform .. I know that money corrupts .. I would rather have a clean government than one where quote First Amendment rights are being respected, that has become corrupt. If I had my choice, I'd rather have the clean government."

According to him we have "quote" rights. The nut bag is UNFIT to be a senator dog catcher, let alone POTUS.

38 posted on 01/18/2007 8:45:22 AM PST by Condor51 (The demoncRATs don't want another 'Vietnam' - they want another Dien Bien Phu.)
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To: neverdem

I'm still waiting for the cable TV rate control he was getting for us...


39 posted on 01/18/2007 8:45:33 AM PST by polymuser (There is one war and one enemy.)
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To: neverdem

TOM TANCREDO for President '08

40 posted on 01/18/2007 8:49:40 AM PST by EndWelfareToday (Live free and keep what you earn.)
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To: neverdem

This guy McCain should pick up a copy of the Constitution AND READ IT. What a jerk.


41 posted on 01/18/2007 8:53:52 AM PST by jackieaxe (Unsourced reporting is not reporting but a lie or a manipulation)
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To: VictoryGal
This guy is not genuinely changing his mind.

I never said he did and I didn't say I supported him in the priamry, either.

I'm just one to praise what is good and condemn that which is bad, regardless of motivation.

Funny thing about self-interest, it brings about the best results, albeit quite often unintentionally.

42 posted on 01/18/2007 8:54:40 AM PST by NeoCaveman (good luck beats early rising)
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To: Osage Orange

Oooh, I'm sorry. You are incorrect.

The answer was: Who is President George W. Bush?


43 posted on 01/18/2007 8:56:27 AM PST by webstersII
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To: NeoCaveman

Don't get too excited -- McInsane temporarily pulled his head out of his ass to get a breath of fresh air..

He will resume his normal anal fixation.

Semper Fi


44 posted on 01/18/2007 8:56:53 AM PST by river rat (You may turn the other cheek, but I prefer to look into my enemy's vacant dead eyes.)
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To: TommyDale

I don't think that was his motivation. McCain-Feingold was older than his presidential run. McCain doesn't like to think of himself as having flaws. Hence, his getting caught in the Keating 5 isn't a flaw on his part, it's a flaw in the system.


45 posted on 01/18/2007 9:08:54 AM PST by AmishDude (It doesn't matter whom you vote for. It matters who takes office.)
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To: AmishDude

This was not in reference to McCain-Feingold.


46 posted on 01/18/2007 9:14:19 AM PST by TommyDale (If we don't put a stop to this global warming, we will all be dead in 10,000 years!)
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To: EndWelfareToday
Nice tagline. But if Tancredo wins, the Great Wall won't be built for free and the floodlights and armed guards to patrol every inch of it will cost even more. Even if we legalize and tax pot, coke and ecstasy, it probably won't cover all the bills.
47 posted on 01/18/2007 9:15:03 AM PST by cake_crumb (When "bipartisan study groups" prosecute wars, you get Another Viet Nam)
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To: AmishDude

From the article:

"McCain sponsored legislation last Congress that included an even broader requirement for grassroots lobbying coalitions to reveal their financial donors."


48 posted on 01/18/2007 9:16:02 AM PST by TommyDale (If we don't put a stop to this global warming, we will all be dead in 10,000 years!)
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To: dirtboy

He was for the provision before he was against it.


McCane could be President if only he'd run as a Democrat.


49 posted on 01/18/2007 9:16:20 AM PST by freedomfiter2 ( "if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." de Tocqueville)
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To: TommyDale
I understand that.

I was refuting this:
McCain wanted to stifle the Christian Right

The fact that McCain wants all of these restrictions have nothing to do with some idea that he wants to repress the Christian Right. It's psychological with him.

50 posted on 01/18/2007 9:19:00 AM PST by AmishDude (It doesn't matter whom you vote for. It matters who takes office.)
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