Today, during a press conference, U.S. Sen. Al Franken provided an update on the DISCLOSE Act, a bill that he cosponsored, which would prohibit secret campaign contributions and ensure that Minnesotans know who is flooding the airwaves with ads. The legislation would blunt the worst effect of the Supreme Court's Citizen's United Supreme Court decision, and is expected to be voted on by the Senate as early as Monday night.
Sen. Franken was joined at the press conference by Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), his colleagues on the Citizens United Task Force, which has been working in recent months to address the problems created by the Supreme Court's decision.
"In order to maintain a strong democracy, we need to ensure that working families have a voice - because in tough times like these, it matters who has a voice in our elections," said Sen. Franken. "When the Supreme Court upended 100 years of law with Citizens United, it yanked the microphone away from average Minnesotans and turned it over to millionaires and corporations. Now a single person writing a check for millions of dollars can drown out the voices of everyone else - and they can do so in total secrecy. But the Supreme Court said we can shine a light on the shadowy interests behind these unprecedented contributions. That's exactly what the DISCLOSE Act would do and that's why it's so critical that we pass it."
The DISCLOSE ACT would require corporations, unions, and other organizations that make political expenditures to disclose their donors and stand by their ads. It would also prevent foreign-controlled corporations, major government contractors, and companies that have received government assistance-and have yet to repay it-from making political expenditures.