Joan Claybrook, president of the pro-"reform" group Public Citizen, has issued a statement about the defeat of grassroots lobbying disclosure in the House:
It is also a disappointment that the House bill, like the Senate bill, omits crucial provisions that would have shed sunlight on the activities of lobbying firms that engage in massive and costly grassroots lobbying and television campaigns. Ironically, a successful stealth effort against disclosure of funding behind grassroots lobbying, funded by these for-profit firms and some ideological groups, brought about the demise of this disclosure provision in both chambers.
Maybe it’s just us, but we don’t see anything ironic about groups using grassroots lobbying to protect their First Amendment right to engage in grassroots lobbying.
Real irony would be a group, like, say, Public Citizen, using grassroots lobbying to promote policies that would chill others’ use of grassroots lobbying.
Also amusing is Publc Citizen calling their defeat the result of a "stealth effort." Yes, it certainly was "stealthy," how groups like the ACLU, American Target Advertising, and National Right to Life–just to name a few–participated in Capitol Hill briefings and press conferences, issued multiple public statements, published op-eds in Roll Call and elsewhere, issued legislative alerts to large public lists, and were quoted by countless reporters.
It was undoubtedly this ninja-like stealth and not the public exposure of grassroots lobbying disclosure’s flaws (not the least of which being its unconstitutionality) that led to its defeat.