Today is the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court's disastrous ruling in Citizens United, and to commemorate the occasion, lawmakers are proposing a slate of 7 bills to put our government back in the people's hands. Here they are:
1. Democracy for All Amendment:
Provides Congress and the states with the authority to determine reasonable regulations on campaign financing and distinguish between natural persons and other artificial entities under campaign finance laws. Key sponsors: Sens. Udall, Sanders/Reps. Deutch, Edwards, McGovern.
2. DISCLOSE Act:
Establishes a system of disclosure of campaign spending and the sources of those funds for all entities that make independent expenditures (at any time) and electioneering communications (in calendar year of an election for Congress; 120 days before the primary for presidential elections). Key sponsors: Sen. Whitehouse/Rep. Van Hollen.
3. Empowering small donors and increasing political participation:
Matching public funds for small dollar contributions, and various other provisions. “Government by the People Act” (congressional elections), key sponsor: Rep. Sarbanes. “Empowering Citizens Act” (congressional and presidential elections), key sponsor: Rep. Price. “Fair Elections Now Act” (congressional elections), key sponsor: Sen. Durbin.
4. Real Time Transparency Act:
Requires all political committees, including joint fundraising committees, to disclose electronically within 48 hours all cumulative contributions of $1,000 or more in a calendar year. Key sponsors: Sen. King/Rep. O’Rourke.
5. Sunlight for Unaccountable Nonprofits Act (SUN Act):
Mandates that nonprofit organizations that declares making campaign expenditures to disclose all donors of $5,000 or more. Key sponsor: Sen. Tester.
6. Clarify campaign coordination:
Expands the definition of “coordination” to include joint fundraising and/or shared vendors and staff between a candidate and outside group or super PAC. Key sponsors: Sen. Tester/Rep. Price.
7. Shareholder Protection Act:
Requires corporations to disclose to shareholders and the public spending of funds for independent expenditures and electioneering communications, even if such spending is indirectly done through a third party. Key sponsors: Sen. Menendez/Rep. Capuano.
Office: Common Cause National
Issues: Money in Politics