Voters deserve to know origins of secret money in elections

Washington, DC (July 17, 2012) – Twice this week, the U.S. Senate refused to allow full debate on the DISCLOSE Act, which would require complete disclosure of spending on big-money advertising in candidate elections.   Twice, the Senate failed to invoke cloture, the procedural motion that requires 60 votes before the Senate can even consider legislation.

“Huge sums of secret money are flooding into our elections, and without full disclosure the voters won’t know who is trying to buy influence,” said Elisabeth MacNamara, national President of the League of Women Voters.  “Secret money should have no place in our elections, but we all know it is there, drowning out the voices of everyday Americans.”

“Twice this week, our elected leaders in Washington, the men and women who had the power and opportunity to help, failed to take up the DISCLOSE Act.  They decided that they didn’t even want to debate this important issue,” MacNamara said.  “Instead of talking about how they could help voters understand where all of this secret money is coming from, they decided to kill the bill without any debate.  This is a sad day for voters and America’s democracy.”

“The League supports the DISCLOSE Act of 2012 because we believe that Americans deserve all the information they can get before they vote,” said MacNamara.  “The DISCLOSE Act builds on disclosure requirements already approved by the Supreme Court in Citizens United when it said that disclosure is important to ‘providing the electorate with information.’”

“The League and its partners in the voting rights community will continue to push for passage of DISCLOSE because secret campaign money undermines the role of the voter and corrupts the election process.  Tell us where the money is coming from and let the voters decide.  The DISCLOSE Act is an important step towards eliminating secret money,” concluded MacNamara.

CONTACT:  Kelly Ceballos, kceballos@lwv.org

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