Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) issued the following statement regarding the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision to deny a motion to "stay" a lower court ruling in Van Hollen v. FEC. The decision closes a loophole in Federal Election Commission (FEC) rules that allowed certain independent campaign organizations to keep the names of donors private.
"This is a significant victory in the fight to keep federal elections open and transparent," Rep. Eshoo said. "Voters deserve to know who is funding political messages. This decision affirms the clear judgment of the American people: campaign ads must not be funded by secret donors."
In 2007, the FEC promulgated rules allowing groups independent of official campaigns to disclose only those donors who specifically earmarked their contributions for electioneering communications.
In March of 2012, a federal district court found that Federal Election Commission rules did not adequately enact the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law, known officially as the Bi-Partisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA). The law requires donors of $1,000 or more for "electioneering communications," or candidate-related ads aired just before a primary or general election, to be publicly disclosed.
This week's decision, by a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, refused a request from outside political groups to "stay" the lower court's decision, affirming the original language in the McCain-Feingold law and ensuring public disclosure of donors in electioneering communications will be in effect for the election season.