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Sen. Schumer defends role in super-PAC reform

Schumer argued that traditional campaign donations are less harmful because they are disclosed immediately and there are limits to the amount that can be given to a candidate.

"This is not millions of dollars, anonymously given and running huge kinds of negative ads," said Schumer on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Thursday. "You know when you have a small number of very wealthy people able to control the process, as they have been, anonymously, it's corrosive."

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Following the financial disclosure of super-PACs this week, Schumer announced Wednesday that the Rules Committee, of which he is chairman, would begin to hold hearings related to super-PAC disclosure and donations.

Schumer decried the lack of disclosure from super-PACS and told MSNBC that he plans to ask the contributors and leaders of the political action committees to come before the panel.

"You will see that this will become a major issue in the campaigns and in the 2012 election," he said.

‪Super-PACs do not coordinate with the candidates and can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money.‬

The New York senator aimed to portray super-PAC spending as primarily a Republican issue.

"The vast majority of this when, if you look at the numbers, is on the Republican side because most of the wealthy, wealthy donors," Schumer said.

When pressed on whether he was the best person to take on this challenge, given his ties to the financial community, Schumer shifted the blame to his GOP counterparts.

"I'd like to see some of my Republican colleagues doing it because … there' a huge difference between the old system where money was disclosed and done in relatively small amounts and the new system," he added.

Schumer also said that direct donations to his campaign from Wall Street supporters have diminished since he came out in support of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation and called on millionaires to pay higher tax rates.

"It goes way beyond Wall Street, it's a small group of ideological millionaires … it's people who give millions of dollars and who really have a hard right agenda who are controlling it," said Schumer.