Common Cause Urges Quick Approval of DISCLOSE ACT

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  • Dale Eisman

The proposed DISCLOSE Act now before senators is a call for “civic courage” and “simple decency” in political campaigning, Common Cause said today.

In testimony submitted to the Senate Rules Committee, Common Cause President Bob Edgar said DISCLOSE stands for the proposition that “those who seek to influence our votes – individuals, corporations, associations of all stripes – (should) let us know who they are. It recognizes that as voters evaluate political speech, we have a legitimate need and indeed a right to know who is paying for that speech.”

Edgar noted that DISCLOSE has been revised substantially since senators last considered it in 2010. The current bill “focuses solely on disclosure provisions and does not contain any special exceptions for any group. There is no good reason for further delay.”

Introduced by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, (D-RI) DISCLOSE would strengthen reporting requirements for corporations, unions, non-profit groups and Super PACs that spend money to influence elections. It also includes “stand-by-your-ad” provisions requiring that ads financed by corporations, unions and other groups include a disclaimer naming the major funders.

DISCLOSE passed the House in 2010 and had the support of a clear majority of senators. Its backers fell one vote shy of the 60 needed to break a Republican-led filibuster however.