Today the Senate begins debate on legislation called the DISCLOSE Act — a bill written in reaction to the hugely unpopular recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, Citizens United v. FEC decision. The DISCLOSE Act will increase transparency of special interests in political campaigns and prevent corporations from drowning out the voices of everyday Americans in elections.
This legislation will require organizations, corporations and special interests involved in political campaigning to disclose the identity of their CEOs in their advertisements and release details on their political expenditures. “No one is saying they can’t run ads. The Constitution allows it.” said said Sen. Chuck Schumer. “All we’re saying is that if you attack us, put your name on the ad.”
The bill also prohibits entities that receive taxpayer money from turning around and spending that money to influence elections. “We have these nameless, faceless individuals spending huge amounts of money, corporate money,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “These ads are being run on television and on radio around the country. No one knows where the money comes from, how much it is.”
Despite the fact that Americans of both political parties overwhelmingly oppose the Citizens United decision, Republicans filibustered the DISCLOSE Act in the Senate, and a cloture vote on the motion to proceed to the bill failed on July 27, 2010. Though similar opposition still exists, Democrats won’t give up. We are determined to stop Wall Street, Big Oil and U.S. corporations from secretly manipulating elections by funneling money to secret groups that run anonymous election advertisements.
For more information on the DISCLOSE Act, go here.