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Tester Backs Disclose Act to Ensure Transparency in Elections

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Senator Jon Tester is determined to prevent secret money from undermining America's democracy and to bring more transparency to American elections.

Tester today again voted for the Disclose Act. The bill requires any organization or individual who spends $10,000 or more on a political campaign to report it within 24 hours.

Due to the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision, corporations currently can spend unlimited money to influence elections without any transparency or accountability. Tester says that means corporations can try to buy American elections without anyone even knowing who they are.

"The Citizens United decision has already dealt a blow to our democracy," Tester said on the Senate floor. "It's allowing a handful of billionaires, corporations and secretive groups that represent special interests to try and buy votes. The Disclose Act is a responsible step toward making sure that people decide the course of our future."

Tester, along with most Montanans, has always opposed the unpopular 2010 Citizens United decision. In highlighting his opposition to the decision, he noted Montana's century-old law that limited the influence of wealthy corporations. The 1912 initiative, recently overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, was passed in response to mining corporations using their money to buy election outcomes.

"Transparency keeps people from being able to buy something that all Americans are entitled to no matter how much money they have: the power to vote," Tester said. "The Disclose Act strengthens our freedom to make informed decisions about our democracy."

Tester supports amending the Constitution to undo the Citizens United decision and to guarantee the right of states to regulate their elections -- ensuring transparency and accountability at both the federal and state levels.

Tester, a member of the Senate Government Affairs Committee, also recently cast the only vote against a bill that would block public disclosure of campaign contributions made by corporations that contract with the federal government. He called out his colleagues for supporting the bill, saying they "missed an opportunity" to bring more transparency to government.

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