• The League and coalition partners sent a letter to Minority Leader Boehner urging him to make a public commitment to the American people to support the continuation of the OCE and to oppose any efforts to prevent the OCE from effectively carrying out its mission and basic responsibilities.

  • The League and coalition partners sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi thanking her for her leadership in establishing the Office of Congressional Ethics in 2008 and urging her to make a public commitment to the American people to support the continuation of the OCE as well as to oppose any efforts to prevent the OCE from effectively carrying out its mission and basic responsibilities.

  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Martha Patzer
    July 27, 2010 202-263-1332


    OBSTRUCTIONIST POLITICS BLOCKS DISCLOSE ACT IN SENATE
    Close Fight Makes League Hopeful for Victory in the Fall

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The League of Women Voters of the U.S. issued the following statement on the obstructionism that prevented the Senate from beginning debate on the DISCLOSE Act today. The DISCLOSE Act aims to restore transparency to U.S. elections after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

    “It is sad to see Senators cling to partisanship and obstructionism once again, instead of working together to find a middle ground on the DISCLOSE Act,” said Elisabeth MacNamara, national president of the League of Women Voters. “This is a failure for which voters will have to pay this November when corporate and other special interests use secret money to influence our elections.

    “In the wake of Citizens United, the DISCLOSE Act is essential. It requires CEOs to stand by their ads, and exposes special interest groups behind last-minute attacks. It stops manipulation of elections by fly-by-night hit groups, and prevents U.S. corporations controlled by foreign – or even hostile – governments from pumping secret money into our elections.

    “How can individual voters compete with organizations that not only have vested interests in Washington, but millions of dollars to make sure those interests are protected?

    “Opponents of the DISCLOSE Act have put forth various criticisms—some true and others based on misinterpretations—justifying their obstruction. But the bottom line is that voters deserve to know who is paying for election advertising. This is not only common sense – it is crucial if voters are to remain the cornerstone of our democracy.

    “We would like to know what these opponents have to fear from disclosure of election advertising. Furthermore, what is to prevent them from falling victim to the deceitful advertising which they are refusing to regulate?

    “We urge Senators Snowe and Collins of Maine, and Senator Brown of Massachusetts, to work out their differences with Senate leadership, and create a bill they can support. This is the right thing to do, and in line with the independent thinking these Senators have displayed in the past on other Senate bills.

    “The DISCLOSE Act is fair and equitable legislation that does not favor unions or either political party. The League will continue to fight for enhanced disclosure—and we look forward to the Senate doing the right thing when they return from recess in September.”

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    The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

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  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Martha Patzer
    July 14, 2010 202-263-1332

    LEAGUE DISAPPOINTED BY SENATOR BROWN'S STATEMENT ON DISCLOSE ACT
    'Same Old Washington Excuses'

    WASHINGTON, D.C. The League of Women Voters of the U.S. and the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts today made the following statement in response to Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown’s letter stating his opposition to the DISCLOSE Act, an important campaign finance bill that aims to restore transparency to U.S. elections after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

    “It is very disappointing that Senator Brown is repeating the same old Washington excuses after just a few months in office,” said Elisabeth MacNamara, national president of the League of Women Voters.

    “He says the legislation takes effect too soon, even though the greatest need is for the public and the voters to be informed about special interest influence in this election, now. Why would we wait, when the Supreme Court has endorsed disclosure? What’s more, the legislation simply responds to the changing of the rules that the Supreme Court decision imposed just a few months ago, after the election season had already started. 

    “He says the legislation gives special advantages to one special interest or another. Why is Senator Brown interested at all in protecting one special interest or another? In fact, the bill is fair, and goes as far as it can to require full transparency as soon as possible.

    “He says the legislation is partisan. This is the oldest dodge in Washington. As a non-partisan group, we in the League of Women Voters say that this bill is not partisan and requires disclosure fairly from all.”

    “We understand the difficult position in which Senator Brown finds himself,” said Marcia Hirshberg, president of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts. “His leaders in Washington are opposed to transparency, but he campaigned with the people of Massachusetts as a different kind of politician. He can’t represent both the old ways of Washington and the new spirit of government responsibility and transparency.”

    “We trust that Senator Brown will eventually make the right choice on this legislation and support fair transparency in government, despite his statement today justifying the old, special-interest ways of doing business,” said MacNamara and Hirshberg.

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    The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

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  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kelly Ceballos
    June 24, 2010 202-263-1331

    CAMPAIGN FINANCE BILL PASSES HOUSE
    League of Women Voters Applauds DISCLOSE Act, Restored Transparency in Elections

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The League of Women Voters today hailed the passage of campaign finance legislation by the U.S. House of Representatives as the first step in achieving greater transparency in U.S. elections.

    “Secret spending in elections undermines our democracy -- that’s why this bill is so important,” said Elisabeth MacNamara, national president of the League of Women Voters.

    “The League of Women Voters commends the House for taking strong action, especially Representatives Van Hollen and Castle for their leadership. We now call on the Senate to pass a similar bill, ideally a version free of amendments that dilute transparency or corrupt the spirit of the legislation,” she stated.  “It is essential for Congress to enact this legislation now, so we can protect the 2010 elections,” MacNamara said.

    The DISCLOSE Act received support from a host of reform groups including the League, and today, Speaker Nancy Pelosi acknowledged the League and coalition groups for their efforts in helping to pass this legislation.

    “This bill is a step in the right direction and achieves its fundamental purpose,” MacNamara said.  “The League will continue to fight for enhanced disclosure, and this bill is an important part of that fight.  It’s the best campaign finance reform since McCain-Feingold,” she concluded.

    The Supreme Court in Citizens United v. FEC recently gave the green light to corporations to spend without limit to elect or oppose candidates for office. However, the Court’s decision made clear that disclosure of this spending could be required by Congress.

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