Congresswoman Dina Titus of Nevada's Third District voted today in support of legislation to increase transparency and disclosure of campaign spending. The DISCLOSE Act addresses loopholes created in a recent Supreme Court decision that opens the floodgates to unrestricted special-interest campaign spending.
"The passage of this bill is a victory for the American people and a blow to the special interests that seek to influence elections with their deep pockets and shady front groups," Congresswoman Titus said. "Without this important legislation, corporations and interest groups will be able to work in the shadows pouring limitless amounts of money into campaigns in an effort to drown out the voices of individuals. The thought of BP or bailout recipient AIG secretly dumping millions of dollars into fly-by-night groups set up to influence elections is unacceptable to the American people. With these strict new disclosure rules, people will finally know who is paying for campaign ads. Free speech is a hallmark of our nation, and the DISCLOSE Act does nothing to infringe upon that right; it simply shines a light on corporate and special-interest group spending in elections."
As a response to the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the DISCLOSE Act implements a number of provisions to increase transparency and the disclosure of campaign spending. The DISCLOSE Act:
* Prevents government contractors with over $10 million in contract money from making independent expenditures and electioneering communications;
* Prevents TARP recipients from spending money on elections;
* Limits foreign influence in American elections by extending prohibitions on campaign contributions and expenditures by foreign nationals to domestic corporations;
* Requires disclosure for broadcast ads referring to a candidate in the 120 days before the general election, an expansion from the previous 60 day disclosure rule;
* Requires corporate CEOs to appear on camera to say that he or she "approves this message;"
* Strengthens donor disclosure of political expenditures by corporations, unions, and 504(c)(4)s, (6)s, and 527s; and
* Requires lobbyist disclosure of political expenditures.
The DISCLOSE Act is supported by a number of public interest reform groups such as Common Cause, Democracy 21, League of Women Voters, Public Citizen, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, and Campaign Legal Center.