Republicans, rhetoric and reform

Led by Sen. McCain, the Senate just passed legislation that would require 527 committees — organizations that spend unlimited dollars on political activities — to reveal from whom they get their funding and what they spend it for. House Republicans, who seem intent on protecting the secrecy of 527s, killed the bill the next day. By not supporting it, the Republicans show their lack of commitment to reforming campaign finance, despite their rhetoric otherwise.
One of the issues concerning 527s is that, to the Internal Revenue Service, they claim to be political committees and receive tax-exempt status. To the Federal Election Commission, however, they state that they are not political committees and are not required to disclose their donors. The money they receive — which can come from anywhere or anyone — is used to conduct political activities, for liberal and conservative causes.
For Sen. McCain, this would only be the first step. He eventually would like to extend such legislation to all tax-exempt, politically active groups. Republicans are aware of the reform trend, and in exchange for moderate Republicans’ votes against it, they promised to hold hearings and another vote before the Fourth of July.
The Republican Party continues to claim support for campaign finance reform. However, as this is the first real piece of legislation passed on the topic since 1993, they had a chance to jump on the bandwagon — one filled with Republicans and Democrats. Instead, however, their true priorities of protecting their funding shined through. They should follow the lead of Sen. McCain and enact true reform. Americans deserve nothing less.