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Peterson lone Democrat to oppose House campaign bill

Posted by: under 1st District, 7th District Updated: June 24, 2010 - 6:05 PM

Updated with Rep. Collin Peterson's comments:

All but one Minnesota House Democrat joined their party passing a bill today requiring corporations and unions to publicly disclose who is funding campaign ads that were allowed following the Supreme Court ruling on the Citizens United case.

Rep. Collin Peterson was the lone Minnesota Democrat to vote against the bill, called the DISCLOSE Act, joining all but two Republicans in opposition. All three Minnesota Republicans voted against the measure, which passed 219-206.

Peterson said that his “no” vote was a gut reaction, as he was concerned the bill could have unintended consequences. “I’m not sure this is going to solve a problem that may or may not exist,” he said, adding that he felt it would have been better to see the effects of the Supreme Court ruling before trying to fix them.

An amendment proposed by Rep. Tim Walz was incorporated into the final bill that prohibited companies from spending TARP money on elections.

The House passed the bill only after including an exemption for groups that have more than 500,000 members and receive less than 15 percent of contributions from corporations and unions. The deal was largely made to placate the National Rifle Association, which Democrats felt they had to do in order to get the measure through.

But that maneuver caused House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, to criticize the NRA — normally a group that Republicans favor — on the House floor.

The bill now heads to the Senate, where Sen. Al Franken is a co-sponsor. Franken has said he opposes the NRA amendment.

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