Recent publicity has focused on H.R. 5175, the so-called DISCLOSE Act which would, in part, "establish additional disclosure requirements with respect to spending in [Federal] elections." In particular, this bill would regulate "Coordinated Communications" in Federal election campaigns.
In the findings portion of the bill, they note that in January of this year, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned legislation "restricting the ability of corporations and labor unions to spend unlimited funds from their general treasury accounts to influence the outcome of elections." This is their second attempt at it.
Recently, news broke that the National Rifle Association was given an exemption from this bill, not by name but by a thinly-veiled description. The NRA released a statement that they were dropping their opposition from the bill, allegedly at the expense of smaller gun rights organizations. But is that was really happening?
David Hardy from Of Arms and the Law points out that some political maneuvering might be taking place when he notes "in a chess game this complicated, Murphy's Law and the rule of unintended consequences begin to play major roles, and any tactic that complicates the opposition's situation makes both more prominent and is thus a good move"
Hardy explains that now the Public Interest Research Group, National Right to Life Committee and Sierra Club all oppose the bill, the Brady Campaign is upset and is speaking out, and that even if the bill passes, their exemption could very well be the reason the bill would be overturned by the Supreme Court.
Not to mention the fact that the average gun owner, who can at times be hard to motivate to action, is now compelled to work the phones in opposition due to a perceived betrayal.
Is the NRA shrewd enough to make such a play at the expense of some good will in order to ensure that the bill is ultimately killed? Perhaps.
Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea reports that the NRA might be changing their stance to being opposed to the bill. If true, this could mean that Hardy's theory is incorrect. Or it could mean that the repercussions from its members was too high. Only time will tell.