Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele continued the GOP's defense of the current campaign finance system, arguing on Sunday that there was no evident problem of anonymous special interests affecting the 2010 elections.
In an appearance on "Meet The Press," Steele accused Democrats of baselessly insisting that foreign money had made its way into congressional campaigns (allegedly through the Chamber of Commerce), telling the accusers to "put up" the evidence or "shut up."
I don't know what they're talking about. No one's produced one shred of evidence that any of that's happening. When President, then-candidate Obama was asked to disclose some of his donors because there was suspicion of there being foreign sources of money to his campaign, they refused to do it. So don't give me this high and mighty, holier-than-thou attitude about the special interests flooding the political marketplace. The Democrats have been dabbling in those areas. And clearly disclose it. If you think there is something out there, disclose it Nancy [Pelosi], disclose it anyone else who has got that evidence. Don't just make the charges... give the evidence. Put the evidence out there.
How would I know that [it's happening]? I don't run those organizations, number one. I'm prohibited from law from engaging in such activities, number two. So I know we don't take it and I suspect that those organizations out there, those 527 and others know what the law is and are complying with the law. So if you have evidence to the contrary produce it. Otherwise, put up or shut up.
Pressed further to address whether a lack of transparency among political donors was a problem, the RNC Chair replied: "I don't know that it is, so far. I mean, I haven't seen any evidence that it is. Why are you saying it's a problem?"
Steele would go on to say that he thought transparency was "an appropriate part of the system" that Congress could legislate if "people are bothered by it." Which is, of course, what Congress tried to do when it pushed the DISCLOSE Act, which fell one vote shy of a filibuster in the Senate.