Today, Rep. Charlie Wilson (OHl-6) voted to shine a light on the role of special interests by increasing disclosure and strengthening transparency in federal campaigns. The bipartisan DISCLOSE Act will prevent big corporations from drowning out the voices of the American people in elections.
"I believe in political transparency, so people can see if there's a conflict in who's trying to influence the vote," Wilson said. "For far too long we've had people hiding behind 527s and other organizations."
The DISCLOSE Act requires corporations, organizations, and special interest groups to stand by their political advertising just like a candidate for office does. It will stop Wall Street, Big Oil, and U.S. corporations controlled by foreign governments from secretly manipulating elections by funneling money to fly-by-night front groups that run last minute attack ads and other anonymous election advertisements.
CEOs will need to identify themselves in their advertisements, and corporations and organizations will be required to disclose their political expenditures. The bill also prohibits entities that receive taxpayer money, such as large government contractors and corporations receiving TARP funds, from turning around and spending that money to influence elections.
"I think people have a right to say what they want during an election, but I believe the public has a right to know who's really saying it," Wilson said. "This just makes good common sense and makes sure that the American people are in charge of our elections and not special interests or big corporations."
This landmark bill is the most far-reaching and significant campaign finance reform law since the McCain-Feingold Act.