Today, Mark Udall joined a group of senators in introducing legislation to help put an end to secretive campaign spending. The DISCLOSE Act of 2012 attempts to address the problems caused by the Supreme Court's decision in the Citizens United case by requiring disclosure of anonymous campaign donations that keep the truth of potentially harmful agendas from Coloradans.
"We are already seeing the fallout from the Supreme Court's regretful decision in the Citizens United case. I'm concerned that, without immediate action, Citizens United could further undermine the integrity of our elections," Udall said. "The DISCLOSE Act is a sensible proposal to curb the growing influence of unlimited corporate and Super PAC money in our elections -- Coloradans deserve to know who is behind the political ads they watch on TV so that they can make informed decisions about their government. I will continue to fight to see that unlimited money in politics doesn't take away the individual right to free speech, which is essential to a healthy democracy."
Udall hopes this bill will help put an end to shadowy campaign practices under the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case that allow special interests, corporations and unions to donate without limits or transparency, giving them a dangerous level of influence over our political process. The DISCLOSE Act requires any covered organization that spends $10,000 or more during an election cycle to file a report with the Federal Election Commission within 24 hours, detailing the amount and nature of each expenditure over $1,000 and the names of all of its donors who gave $10,000 or more. Transfer provisions in the bill prevent donors from using shell organizations to hide their activities. In order to make sure that organizations and individuals take responsibility for their negative or misleading political advertising, the legislation also includes "stand-by-your-ad" disclaimer requirements that require any organization that puts a political ad on TV or radio to list its top funders in the ads. The head of the organization also must appear in the ad and state that he or she approves the message, just as candidates must do now.