Letter to the U.S. Senate on the DISCLOSE Act

July 16, 2012

U.S. Senate

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator,

Our organizations strongly urge you to vote for cloture on S.3369, the DISCLOSE Act of 2012.

The DISCLOSE Act is constitutional, fair and evenhanded.

The Supreme Court by an overwhelming 8 to 1 vote in the Citizens United case made clear that campaign finance disclosure by outside spending groups is constitutional and is necessary to provide citizens with information they have a right to know and to hold officeholders accountable.

The Court stated:

With the advent of the Internet, prompt disclosure of expenditures can provide shareholders and citizens with the information needed to hold corporations and elected officials accountable for their positions and supporters. Shareholders can determine whether their corporation's political speech advances the corporation's interest in making profits, and citizens can see whether elected officials are "'in the pocket' of so-called moneyed interests."

Hundreds of millions of dollars in secret, unlimited contributions are expected to be injected into the presidential and congressional elections through tax-exempt, nonprofit 501(c) organizations.

Secret, unlimited contributions played a central role in the Watergate scandals, the worst campaign finance scandal of the last century. Today, a new, national campaign finance scandal is unfolding before the American people as massive secret, unlimited contributions return to our elections.

The vote today on the DISCLOSE Act provides each Senator with a clear choice: vote for public disclosure to inform citizens about the donors providing funds to influence their votes, or vote to protect secret money to influence the outcome of federal elections and government decisions.

We strongly urge you to vote for cloture on S.3369 and for the DISCLOSE Act

Americans for Campaign Reform Democracy 21

Brennan Center for Justice League of Women Voters

Campaign Legal Center People For the American Way

Citizens for Responsibility and Public Citizen

Ethics in Washington Sunlight Foundation

Common Cause

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