Sen. Whitehouse: Secret money drowning out voices of the middle-class
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released a video on Saturday urging support for the DISCLOSE Act of 2012.
“The story of our American democracy has been the fight to make sure that every citizen’s voice is heard – that each of us can claim equal ownership of the government we’ve formed together,” Whitehouse stated in the video. “But the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision has threatened that fundamental notion by allowing secretive special interests to make limitless and secret campaign donations, secret donations that give them an unfair advantage over the average voter.”
The Supreme Court’s controversial ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission struck down limits on independent political spending by corporations and unions. The ruling gave rise to Super PACs, which can spend an unlimited amount of money to influence elections as long as they do not directly coordinate with a candidate’s campaign.
“This flood of secret money unleashed by Citizens United is drowning out the voices of middle-class Americans,” Whitehouse added.
The DISCLOSE Act, which is up for a procedural vote in the Senate on Monday, would prevent outside campaign groups from hiding their donors. The bill would require organizations that spend $10,000 or more during an election cycle to file a report with the Federal Election Commission within 24 hours and identify any donors who gave $10,000 or more.
“A bill is coming up in Congress that would shine a bright light on the secret money streaming into our elections,” Whitehouse said. “It’s called the DISCLOSE Act, and it would require any organization that conducts political activity to make public the sources of its funding—in real time—so voters can decide for themselves what to think.”
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube on July 14, below: