Written by Kristy Minielly
On Monday, the Senate will hold a cloture vote on the DISCLOSE Act- 60 Senators must vote to proceed or the bill will die on the floor. The bill, requires that any organization spending $10,000 or more on elections disclose their donors who gave $10,000 or more. Transparency and accountability are necessary in a functioning democracy, but that hasn’t stopped Senators from treating it as a partisan issue.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), the bill’s sponsor, warns that “the flood of secret money unleashed by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision threatens to drown out the voices of middle class families in our democracy.” In our post-Citizens’ United world, special interest cash exerts a heavy hand in our elections. Something must be done to make sure the voices of voters aren’t completely silenced.
By shining a light on large donors, DISCLOSE gives individuals the power to know who is paying off their leaders and helps them fairly assess the campaign information targeted at them. Americans have a right to this information, and before Citizens United opened the “independent expenditure” loophole, they did. DISCLOSE will close that loophole.
Democrats and Republicans have both sung disclosure’s praises; however, no GOP senators have signed onto DISCLOSE and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has threatened to filibuster it.
So, what can you do? Spread the word about DISCLOSE. Call your senators and encourage them to vote for cloture. Post to social media and let all your friends know what’s going on. Most importantly, be prepared to fight for DISCLOSE because it is the right thing to do. Citizens have the right to know where campaign funding is coming from, becauseAmerican democracy belongs in the hands of the people, not the highest bidder.