Tell Sen. Voinovich to Pass the DISCLOSE Act

The Citizens United Supreme Court decision in January allowed corporations to divert money from their treasuries to influencing elections — specifically for so-called independent “issue ads.” Most of these contributions/investments went to front groups so that corporations didn’t have to disclose their identity or amount.

The Supreme Court ruled, however, in Citizens United by an 8-1 margin that existing disclosure laws (meaning those who contribute/invest in political campaigns) should be required to reveal the size and source of the funds.

This last point was largely ignored as well over $100 million in shadowy funds poured into the fall elections.

Earlier this year, the House passed the DISCLOSE Act which would shed light on these secret contributions/investments. The Senate now needs to do the same. Provisions of the Act are below.

Call or fax Senators Voinovich and Brown urging them during this “lame duck” session to pass the DISCLOSE Act. Senator Brown always supports the Act. Senator Voinovich can be persuaded to do the same.

Several of us from Cleveland met with his aide on Wednesday urging the Senator to take one more independent step away from the Republican Party position (most Repubs oppose the Act).

Call Voinovich today!

Name / Local Office Number / Local Fax Number (Faxes are better than calls)
Senator George Voinovich / 216-522-7095 / 216-522-7097
Senator Sherrod Brown / (216) 522-7272 / 216-522-2239

The DISCLOSE Act legislation will address seven major provisions:

1. Enhance Disclaimers
Make CEOs and other leaders take responsibility for their ads.

2. Enhance Disclosures
It is time to follow the money.

3. Prevent Foreign Influence
Foreign countries and entities should not be determining the outcome of our elections.

4. Shareholder/Member Disclosure
We should allow shareholders and members to know where money goes.

5. Prevent Government Contractors from Spending
Taxpayer money should not be spent on political ads.

6. Provide the Lowest Unit Rate for Candidates and Parties
Special interests should not drown out the voices of the people.

7. Tighten Coordination Rules
Corporations should not be able to “sponsor” a candidate.

Posted on Mon, Nov. 29, 2010
Inquirer Editorial: Transparent elections

Time has all but run out for the Senate to take a modest and reasonable step to restore sanity to out-of-control campaign spending.

Although a majority of senators favor the DISCLOSE Act, Republican lawmakers are blocking a vote. The measure, which passed the House last summer, proposes a basic requirement that people who donate hefty sums for election ads identify themselves.

What’s wrong with that?

In this year’s midterm elections, at least $125 million was donated secretly to defeat or support various candidates. It was the first time in nearly 40 years that such large amounts of secret money influenced an election, for which the blame goes to the Supreme Court’s tragically misguided ruling in the “Citizens United” case.

Rest of Philadelphia Inquirer editorial at
http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/20101129_Inquirer_Editorial__Transparent_elections.html

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