Letter to the Senate on DISCLOSE Act
July 16, 2012
On behalf of the more than three million members of the National Education Association, we would like to urge your support for the Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act (S. 3369), scheduled for a cloture vote today.
In the wake of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, corporate money has flooded into elections, as so-called “SuperPACs” are allowed to raise, aggregate, and spend unlimited amounts of corporate money, and 501(c)(4) groups are allowed to raise and spend corporate money without disclosing their corporate donors. The aftermath of this decision has allowed corporations and other wealthy interests to drown out the voices of individual voters in our political system. And, much of this spending is anonymous, preventing voters from knowing who is spending millions to influence elections.
A fair and open political system with fully informed voters is critical to our democracy. Voters have a legitimate interest in knowing who funds the deluge of political advertising unleashed each election season. S. 3369 would help facilitate a fair and reasonable system of campaign disclosure by increasing public accountability for corporations that attempt to influence politics.
S. 3369 would promote disclosure of information that is pertinent to election-spending transparency, without imposing excessive and burdensome reporting obligations. Specifically, we are pleased that the bill does not require disclosure of ordinary transmissions of dues or other transfers between organizational affiliates.
The Senate version of the DISCLOSE Act would restore the public’s fundamental right to know who is funding campaign expenditures to influence their votes. It would help prevent corporations and anonymous wealthy donors from flooding the airwaves and overpowering the voices of individual voters. We urge your support for this important legislation.
Director, Center for Advocacy
Director of Government Relations