The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) lost round one of their attempt to overturn the part of last year’s landmark lobbying reform law which requires it to reveal the businesses funding the goliath lobbying organization. Public Citizen, the Campaign Legal Center, and Democracy 21 filed an amicus brief [pdf] explaining how the disclosure requirement is constitutional, and should be kept intact. U.S. District Judge Kollar-Kotelly agreed with us.
Judge Kollar-Kotelly dismissed NAM’s constitutional challenge, stating in her opinion:
The Court has conducted a searching review of the NAM’s opening brief, the Opposition filed by Defendant Taylor and the Opposition filed by the Legislative Defendants, the two amici briefs filed in this case by Citizens for Reform and Ethics in Washington (”CREW”) and Campaign Legal Center, Democracy 21, and Public Citizen (jointly the ”CLC Amici”), and the NAM’s Reply brief, as well as the relevant statutes and case law.
But NAM isn’t done yet. It issued this statement after the decision: “We are disappointed with the outcome and will immediately ask the court for a temporary stay of the law’s enforcement as we prepare an appeal.”
Just what do they have to hide? Plenty it seems. Someone should ask the 70 or so employees who recently departed NAM what’s going on over there. Politico reports that the organization has been plagued by turnover under Engler.
We also want to know who’s behind NAM’s efforts to weaken pending legislation on product safety and manufacturer accountability, the Consumer Product Safety Commission Reform Act. We’re fighting tooth and nail for a final bill that combines the best provisions for consumers in bills passed by the House and Senate, while NAM lobbyists have been making the rounds to get a more business-friendly bill out of the House/Senate negotiations. It would be good for all consumers to know at least what members of Congress likely know: which big businesses (and big campaign contributors) are behind NAM’s furious lobbying to block strong safety laws for toys and other products.