U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced bicameral legislation to help reduce corruption in politics by cracking down on special interests and dark money influence in federal elections. The DISCLOSE Act would increase transparency of political spending by requiring organizations and corporations to disclose donors who have given $10,000 or more during an election cycle.
“We have to get dark money out of politics and combat special interest spending in federal elections,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Every year, wealthy corporations spend millions of dollars to tip the scales of our government in their favor. The Disclose Act would help increase transparency of political spending, weed out dark money influence, and bring us one step closer to a more representative democracy.”
The DISCLOSE Act requires organizations spending money in elections – including super PACs and 501(c)(4) dark money groups – to promptly disclose donors who have given $10,000 or more during an election cycle, thereby increasing transparency of federal elections and helping to restore faith in American democracy. The bill also includes measures to prevent political operatives from using layers of front groups to hide donor identities and requires groups that fund ads for judicial nominees to disclose their donors.
Since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, spending by corporations and secretive front groups has flooded federal elections. Citizens United and subsequent Supreme Court rulings permit super PACs and certain types of tax-exempt groups, such as 501(c)(4) nonprofits, to spend unlimited sums in elections. Many of these groups are not required to disclose their donors, allowing wealthy corporations and individuals to spend unlimited, undisclosed money without being tied to the television attack ads and other electioneering activity the groups carry out.
Full text of the legislation can be found here.