Americans across the political spectrum support strong disclosure laws.
These vital regulations allow voters to know who is funneling secret money into political groups and campaigns. Disclosure is a common-sense, bipartisan solution that stops backroom deals and ensures everyone knows when money is changing hands.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, corporations, independent political organizations, and individuals can secretly influence the outcome of our elections by evading state disclosure laws for spending in elections. Inadequate disclosure of political spending makes it more difficult for voters to make informed decisions, increases opportunities for corruption, and limits shareholders’ and customers’ ability to hold corporations accountable.
According to reports from the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, donors for some 94% of outside money in the 2010 Massachusetts elections were not publicly disclosed. This is unacceptable for a working democracy and is why we fought to pass the Massachusetts Disclosure Act in 2014.
One of the strongest disclosure laws in the country, this regulation requires real-time transparency about who is funding SuperPACs in our Commonwealth’s elections. Key provisions include:
- Organizations must list their top five contributors above $5,000 in TV or print advertisements.
- Super PACs must disclose their donors within 7 days of running a paid advertisement.
- Enforcement agencies have clearer authority to regulate funds funneled through intermediary groups by corporations, organizations, and individuals to avoid disclosure.
- Disclosure of Internet and email advertisement electioneering communications is required.
Our 2014 report Shining a Light: Success of the Massachusetts Disclosure Law, details the impact of this groundbreaking reform.
However, there is still progress left to be made and loopholes left to close. We need lawmakers to push for strong and thorough disclosure laws.
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