Common Cause is urging every member of the U.S. Senate to vote to begin debate on the DISCLOSE Act later this week when the Senate considers the legislation to bring transparency to the secret money groups spending hundreds of millions of dollars to influence our elections. The letter emphasizes that Americans overwhelmingly support legislation to eliminate secret money and cites polling showing that 74% of voters–including strong majorities of Republicans, Independents, and Democrats–favor legislative provisions to provide new disclosure requirements like the DISCLOSE Act.
“Americans expect and deserve to know what special interests and individuals are behind the secret money groups pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into our elections anonymously,” said Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn. “Republicans, Democrats, and independents – by wide margins – all support brining transparency and accountability to those groups seeking to influence our elections and buy favor with politicians in secret. The strong nationwide support for transparency in political spending has translated into disclosure bills being signed into law in states and municipalities across the country. It is imperative that Congress follow through with federal transparency legislation, and we commend Senator Whitehouse’s leadership on the DISCLOSE Act”
The letter stresses that even the Supreme Court in Citizens United, which opened the floodgates to unlimited campaign spending by outside groups including corporations, recognized the critical importance of transparency in the spending. Since that controversial ruling stirred public outrage, Common Cause has led successful campaigns to pass money in politics transparency laws in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, Rhode Island, and many other states and localities.
The letter stresses though that beyond state and local laws, it is critically important that Congress pass strong federal disclosure measures to ensure the integrity of our elections. Senators are urged to “vote for cloture so that all Americans can see who in Congress is trying to shine a light on secret, special interest money.”
To read the full letter, click here.