U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today called for the Senate to swiftly pass legislation to increase transparency in political spending by special interests, helping ensure that special interests can no longer spend unlimited money in U.S. elections anonymously. Following the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling allowing special interests to spend unlimited amounts of money on federal election activity, Klobuchar cosponsored the DISCLOSE Act of 2012 to require organizations spending money in federal elections todisclose major donors. The legislation failed today to gain enough votes to be considered on the Senate floor, and another vote is expected tomorrow.
"The unprecedented involvement of special interests in our political process has convinced the American people that there is something wrong with how we conduct our elections. I hear constantly from Minnesotans who believe, justifiably, that the more money outside groups spend on campaigns, the less their voices are heard," said Klobuchar. "That is why I am urging my colleagues in the Senate to swiftly pass this critical legislation and bring accountability and transparency to the special interest money inundating our elections."
Super PACs and other outside groups have spent over $140 million in this election cycle -- about twice what was spent by outside groups over the same period in 2008. According to an April report, groups that do not reveal their funding sources have spent about 90 percent of the total money spent by outside groups on the November presidential election.
Under the DISCLOSE (Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections) Act, certain organizations that spend over $10,000 on campaign activity must disclose their spending to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) within 24 hours and list any donor who gives over $10,000 to the organization. An earlier version of the DISCLOSE Act was introduced in 2010 but failed to overcome a Senate filibuster.