Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has cosponsored new legislation to address problems created by the Supreme Court’sCitizens United decision. The DISCLOSE Act of 2012, introduced today by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and cosponsored by 34 senators, will help put an end to secretive campaign spending by strengthening disclosure laws.
“The Supreme Court’s appalling ruling in Citizens United gave wealthy corporations and special interests a megaphone to drown out the voices of Washington state voters,”said Senator Patty Murray. “No voice should be more powerful in Washington state’s elections than the voices of our state’s voters. I’m proud to support this effort to protect our democratic process and put power back in the hands of the people and grassroots activism.”
The Act requires any covered organization that spends $10,000 or more during an election cycle to file a report with the Federal Election Commission within 24 hours, detailing the amount and nature of each expenditure over $1,000 and the names of all of its donors who gave $10,000 or more. Transfer provisions in the bill prevent donors from using shell organizations to hide their activities.
To make sure that organizations and individuals take responsibility for their negative or misleading political advertising, the legislation also includes “stand-by-your-ad” disclaimer requirements that require any organization that puts a political ad on TV or radio to list its top funders in the ads. The head of the organization also must appear in the ad and state that he or she approves the message, just as candidates must do now.