Letter to the editor: A way forward on campaign finance?

Written by Tyler Creighton on May 2, 2014

Thumbnail for the Money in Politics issue bucket

Disclosure is indeed one way forward on campaign finance (A way forward on campaign finance?, Boston Globe May 2), but federal and state lawmakers have yet to break new ground on the issue. The result is a disservice to voters.

Analysts predict the 2014 federal elections will have the most undisclosed political giving on record. And in Massachusetts out-of-date disclosure laws expose our gubernatorial election and others to millions in "dark" money.

These realities demand immediate action. Congress should pass the DISCLOSE Act. If that fails, rulemaking proposals at the IRS, SEC and FCC could increase disclosure, respectively, by channeling political spending to Super PACs rather than "social welfare" non-profits, requiring corporations to disclose political giving to shareholders, and enforcing detailed sponsorship disclosure of political TV ads. At the state level, a revised version of the Massachusetts Disclosure Act passed by the Senate in 2012 should be approved by committee and voted on by both houses as soon as possible.

Even then, disclosure is not enough. A constitutional amendment and public financing of elections are necessary to reduce the real or perceived corruption that exists when an individual or corporation pledges millions of dollars in support to political candidates or their surrogates.

Office: Common Cause National, Common Cause Massachusetts

Issues: Money in Politics, Money in Politics

Tags: Disclosure, Massachusetts Disclosure Act

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