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The League sent a letter to the U.S. Senate in support of quick action to enact the DISCLOSE Act of 2014. Members of the LWVUS Lobby Corps will also be visiting Senate offices to discuss the legislation.
July 10, 2014
To: Members of the U.S. Senate
From: Elisabeth MacNamara, President
Re:Support the DISCLOSE Act, S. 2516
The League of Women Voters strongly urges you to support the DISCLOSE Act, S. 2516, which would restore transparency to U.S. elections.
In the 2012 national elections, more than $300 million in secret contributions went to elect or defeat candidates. This massive influx of secret money was the natural result of the Supreme Court’s deeply flawed ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and ineffective regulations by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) which allow corporations of all types, unions and wealthy individuals to make unlimited secret contributions to efforts seeking to elect or defeat federal candidates.
This is unacceptable in a democracy. Secret money has no place in America's elections. Voters deserve to know the sources of funding for election advertising. Voters have a right to know -- whether it is a corporation, union, trade association, or non-profit advocacy group making unlimited political expenditures and influencing elections.
The most important thing we can do to preserve the integrity of our electoral process is to increase transparency and let the sunlight shine in. Disclosure is the key to allowing voters to make their own decisions and will guard against the inevitable corruption that comes with secret money.
The proposed DISCLOSE Act builds on requirements already approved by the Supreme Court. In fact, the Court in Citizens United pointed in the direction of enhanced disclosure when it said that disclosure is important to “providing the electorate with information.” It also supported disclaimer requirements “so that the people will be able to evaluate the arguments to which they are being subjected.” We couldn’t agree more.
Fair and clean elections, determined by the votes of American citizens, should be at the center of our democracy. Enhanced disclosure is the most basic step toward protecting the role of voters and ensuring that they can make informed decisions.
The League of Women Voters strongly urges you to support quick action by the Senate to enact the DISCLOSE Act this year.