Common Cause Commends Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse for Introducing DISCLOSE Act of 2014

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  • Dale Eisman

The DISCLOSE Act, reintroduced for the 113th Congress by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, would create sensible disclosure standards for corporations, labor unions, and other entities that spend money in politics, Common Cause said today. 

“Voters deserve to know who is trying to influence our elections,” said Common Cause president Miles Rapoport. “When the Supreme Court opened the floodgates to unlimited special interest campaign spending in Citizens United, it assumed we had transparency laws in place so that voters would at least know the source of the money. The DISCLOSE Act brings much-needed sunlight into our campaigns and ought to have the support of Republicans and Democrats alike.”

In the 2012 elections, at least $300 million from anonymous donors was spent trying to influence the outcome of federal elections. This was more than double the roughly $127 million of secret political spending in the 2010 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Common Cause has always supported stronger transparency laws and has backed the DISCLOSE Act in each of the past three Congresses.  The newly introduced DISCLOSE Act is identical to disclosure legislation introduced by Sen. Whitehouse in 2012 and killed by a Republican filibuster.  GOP senators used the same tactic to stop the legislation in 2010, when it passed the House and got 59 of 100 votes in the Senate, one short of the number needed to overcome a filibuster.