The Disclose Act of 2012 was referred out of committee this week and is expected to come up for a vote in the full Senate on Monday. The legislation would require any organization spending more than $10,000 dollars in an election cycle to publicly disclose their donors.
Seems straightforward enough, right? But so far not a single Republican has signed on and the Bill is expected to go down along a party line vote. Why is it that these common sense ideas are always pushed to one side of the aisle? Is it too much to ask that we know where the money that funds our public elections comes from? How are we to make informed choices as citizens if we don't know who's trying to influence our votes?
Even our often divided Supreme Court agrees that disclosure is an essential element of protecting political speech — right in the Citizen's United case of all places — ruling 8 to 1 that:
"disclosure permits citizens and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way. This transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages."
The bill clearly applies to ANY organization that spends more than $10,000 in a given election cycle: corporations, unions, PACs and Super PACs would all have to comply with the new law. Nevertheless election year politics will seemingly prevail. Not even John McCain, a stalwart champion of campaign finance reform, can bring himself to sign on.
Rootstrikers signed on in support of the bill and we urge you to do the same. Take a few minutes to contact your Senators this weekend and tell them to support Senate Bill 2219, the Disclose Act of 2012.
Citizens of all political stripes deserve to know who's funding our elections.