Se­nate GOP blocks cam­paign fi­nance mea­sure

Austin American-Statesman - - WORLD & NATION -

WASHINGTON — Se­nate Repub­li­cans blocked leg­is­la­tion im­pos­ing new re­stric­tions on po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­ity by spe­cial in­ter­est groups Tues­day, prob­a­bly deal­ing a fa­tal blow to a drive by the White House and con­gres­sional Democrats to re­write cam­paign rules in the run-up to the midterm elec­tions.

The 57-41 vote was three short of the to­tal needed to ad­vance the mea­sure, which calls for greater dis­clo­sure on cam­paign ad­ver­tis­ing funded in­de­pen­dently by cor­pora- tions, unions and other or­ga­ni­za­tions, but in­cluded an ex­emp­tion for the Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion and a small num­ber of other groups.

Less than 100 days be­fore the elec­tions, the de­bate was highly po­lit­i­cal — and the out­come widely an­tic­i­pated.

Mean­while, Tar­get Corp. on Tues­day de­fended the use of its new free­dom to spend money on po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns as em­ploy­ees and gay or­ga­ni­za­tions crit­i­cized a $150,000 do­na­tion that will help a Min­nesota GOP gu­ber­na­to­rial can­di­date who op­poses gay mar­riage.

Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Gregg Stein­hafel as­sured em­ploy­ees at the com­pany’s Minneapolis head­quar­ters in an e-mail that the dis­count re­tailer’s sup­port of the gay com­mu­nity is un­wa­ver­ing.

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