Senator Murray: “Today, every single one of my Republican colleagues once again sided with special interests, and against the open and honest political debate the American people demand, expect, and deserve.”
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement on Republicans blocking the Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act, in a 49-49 vote. The DISCLOSE Act would close loopholes opened by the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court case which allows corporations and special interest groups to spend unlimited amounts of money supporting or opposing candidates in elections without disclosure of their donors’ identities.
“Today, every single one of my Republican colleagues once again sided with special interests, and against the open and honest political debate the American people demand, expect, and deserve.
“And let’s be really clear here: the bill that Republicans just blocked isn’t radical—the DISCLOSE Act is a straight-forward bill to crack down on dark money in politics, and stop corporations from keeping massive contributions hidden from the public. Republicans’ vote against this bill and for dark money is a disgrace, and a slap in the face to voters everywhere.
“I will not sit idly by while Republicans continue to get in the way of Democrats’ efforts to protect our democracy. When people stand up and speak out, they should have confidence their voice will be heard, not drowned out by a wave of dark money from special interests—and that’s exactly what I’ll be fighting to ensure.”
Senator Murray has long been a strong proponent of campaign finance reform. Following the disastrous Citizens United decision, she took to the Senate floor to make the case to her colleagues that dark money and unfair political spending were corrupting America’s political process, and since then has consistently championed campaign finance reforms to make our political process more equitable and transparent.
Senator Murray has long fought to pass the DISCLOSE Act, co-sponsoring it alongside Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), in every Congress since 2010. The DISCLOSE Act would:
- Strengthen the Foreign Money Ban in our Politics
- Strengthens prohibitions against foreign actors participating in election spending in the United States, including in state and local referenda.
- Prohibits the establishment of corporations to conceal election contributions and donations by foreign actors.
- Require Disclosure by “Dark Money” Groups
- Requires super PACs, 501(c) “dark money” groups, corporations, and other organizations spending more than $10,000 in elections and on judicial nominations to promptly disclose donors who contribute more than $10,000.
- Shuts down the use of transfers between organizations to cloak the identity of the source contributor.
- Allows organizations to establish a segregated fund from which to pay for election spending, in which case only donors to the fund would need to be disclosed.
- Expands “stand by your ad” disclosure requirements to online ads and ads that may promote or attack a candidate but stop short of expressly advocating for a vote for or against a candidate.
- Requires identification of top funders of outside groups paying for video, text, or audio political ads.