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Senator Blasts Harry Reid for Double Standards on Campaign Donors

By Washington Free Beacon Staff

Sen. Pat Roberts (R., Kan.) took to the Senate floor on Wednesday to criticize Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) and other congressional Democrats for alleged double standards in his ongoing campaign of vilification of donors to right-leaning political groups.

Roberts also fueled criticism of a Tuesday event, attended by Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), promoting a film attacking libertarian philanthropists Charles and David Koch. Other members of Congress and conservative groups have alleged that the event violated prohibitions on the use of taxpayer-funded facilities in the Capitol complex for partisan purposes.

Roberts said on the Senate floor:

This event is just the latest demonstration of an apparent belief that the rules do not apply to the Democratic leadership. We now have another new precedent: A Majority Leader appearing in and then promoting a movie in the United States Capitol.

It also further demonstrates the hypocrisy of the majority’s quest to stifle dissent. They celebrate and promote films that attack their opponents, but want to outlaw films that criticize the majority members and their agenda.

Roberts compared the film, titled Koch Brothers Exposed, to the 2004 Michael Moore documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 and to Hillary: The Movie, the documentary that set off FEC enforcement actions against Citizens United, the conservative group behind it, and eventually led to a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that loosened restrictions on corporate, nonprofit, and labor union free speech rights.

“I suspect many of the people who went to see the movie in the CVC last night thought Fahrenheit 9/11 was great and Hillary: the Movie was terrible,” Roberts said. “The point of the Citizens United case was that it doesn’t matter.”

“It doesn’t matter which film a majority in Congress might prefer—the producers have the right to make and distribute either one, and they can raise the money necessary to do so as they see fit, not subject to restrictions or limitations imposed by the Congress,” Roberts said.