Two major unions, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFCSME) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), will spend close to $100 million to protect incumbent Democrats while the AFL-CIO says it will spend heavily to help Democrats in 60 to 70 House races, but won't say how much it will devote to the campaign.
That’s bad enough but hang on—Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)—have introduced a bill designed to silence anyone critical of what the Democratic Congress has done in the past two years.
Schumer and Van Hollen's bill—the DISCLOSE Act of 2010—would reverse the Supreme Court's recent Citizens United decision upholding the right of individual citizens, acting in concert with each other in corporations, labor unions, trade associations and independent citizens groups, to pay for TV ads critical of incumbent congressmen during the often-decisive final months of a campaign. As U.S. Chamber of Commerce head Thomas J. Donohue said, the bill "is an unconstitutional attempt to silence free speech. It's un-American and it must be stopped."
As we celebrate Memorial Day, I am hard-pressed to think of a more repugnant or loathsome maneuver by desperate partisans. Our freedom of speech was bought with the blood of those who came before us.