DISCLOSE bill and NRA
A few months ago, the Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on corporations airing campaign ads (or anything mentioning a candidate's name, including an ad that suggests asking him to do something). The powers that be started pushing a bill, DISCLOSE, which would make these now-lawful ad expenditures a bit more burdensome.
The House leadership tried to smooth its passage with a provision that exempts NRA and a few other large advocacy groups (requirements include having more than a million dues-paying members, and no more than a small percent of income from corporate entities). NRA indicated it would have no dog in the fight if the bill did not cover it. This predictably led to some accusations of "selling out."
Personally -- 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. So far--
1) Public Interest Research Group, National Right to Life Committee and Sierra Club oppose the bill -- I assume because they are subject to it and NRA would not be.
2) Brady Campaign is angry as well: "he special treatment for the NRA "is exactly why Americans are so turned off by politics and cynical about Congress," Paul Helmke said in a telephone interview. "It makes no sense at all when you say you're concerned about the role that money plays in politics.""
3) The new opposition has "left the fate of the legislation in doubt. "
4) If it survives, and is challenged in court, the situation is likewise complicated. "Counsel -- you say this statute serves a compelling governmental interest, in mandating disclosure of corporate involvement in politics -- yet it exempts the biggest corporations from its scope. So involvement of corporations is suspicious, but involvement of really big corporations is not?"
UPDATE: here's Brady Campaign's Dennis Henigan on it: "It’s now clear that the Democratic leadership in Congress has turned the reins of power over to the National Rifle Association." "a stunning act of craven appeasement," " legislative hostage-taking," "It is gratifying to see the growing list of progressive groups that have joined the opposition to this cynical Democratic House sell-out. " I think he's a little upset.