Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today announced she is an original cosponsor of legislation to increase transparency in political spending by special interests, helping ensure that wealthy donors and corporations can no longer spend unlimited money in U.S. elections anonymously. Following the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on federal election activity, the DISCLOSE Act of 2012 would require organizations spending money in federal elections todisclose major donorsand appear on camera to stand by their advertisements. An earlier version of the DISCLOSE Act was introduced in 2010 but failed to overcome a Senate filibuster.
“Special interests have had too much influence in our political process for too long,” said Klobuchar. “This legislation will bring transparency to campaign spending by outside organizations and will help restore the right of individual Americans to have their voices heard.”
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) predicts that over $11 billion will be spent on the 2012 elections, about double what was spent in 2008. Super PACs had already spent about $100 million through the Super Tuesday contests in the Republican presidential primaries and are dramatically outspending the candidates themselves. In 2010, 501(c)(4) and (c)(6) organizations spent more than $135 million in unlimited, secret contributions.
Under the DISCLOSE (Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections) Act, corporations and unions that spend over $10,000 on campaign activity must disclose their spending to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) within 24 hours and list any donor who gives over $10,000 to the organization. Additionally, CEOs of organizations which run political advertisements must stand by the ad in the same manner as political candidates are required to by clearly stating that they “approved this message.”