DISCLOSE Act Deserves Support

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money in ballot boxThe Disclose Act bill will require full disclosure by corporations and labor unions who exercise their new found right to control American elections by buying up the media channels and campaigning for, or against, individual candidates. This right was defined by our activist conservative Supreme Court in the case of "Citizens United v FEC" a few months ago. The Disclose Act does not go near far enough to prevent corporations and labor unions from owning election outcomes. It is however, an important first step in the right direction.

This Disclose Act will force corporations to stand by their ads exposed as sponsors, in the same way candidates must disclose that they endorse the advertisement. The Act would also prevent foreign-owned entities from participating in our elections and campaigning for or, against candidates of their choosing. The Campaign Legal Center writes:

The U.S. economy is still suffering the economic fallout from politically-influential corporations on Wall Street driving the nation's economy into a ditch - while some of those corporations are once again reporting huge profits. The Quinnipiac and Washington Post/ABC polls clearly show that Republicans and Democrats alike are concerned about granting corporations and unions even greater opportunities to buy influence on Capitol Hill.

If Congress fails to take action in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v FEC, vital information about significant campaign expenditures will be hidden from public view. A vote against the DISCLOSE Act is a vote to keep citizens in the dark about who is really calling the shots in Washington.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who will lead the opposition to this legislation, began to completely mischaracterize the proposal even before he had seen it. Senator McConnell has a long record of opposition to any and all regulation of special-interest money in politics and he remains a zealous denier of the reality that money buys access and influence in Washington.

This is not partisan spin. Many, not all, Congressional Republicans, side with Sen. McConnell's position that elections should be bought and sold to the highest bidder for media access and control of election messaging. That is not where the majority of Americans stand on this issue, however. Two Republicans in the House are to be commended for bucking their Party's leadership in co-sponsoring this legislation, Representatives Mike Castle (R-DE) and Walter Jones (R-NC).

It has been my experience that the voting public doesn't pay much attention, nor care much about who is paying for political spin advertising and sophist messaging around election day. But, for those who do, this is an important first step to counter the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC. If this legislation cannot pass the Congress, America's elections can be deemed rigged and controlled by those who profit from the rest of working Americans paychecks.

The money labor unions and corporations use to buy elections and legislation does, after all, comes from your and my income. That money to buy elections and legislation increases the price of what we have to pay for everything we buy from them, or contribute to a union in dues. Our money: their control over elections. It is neither equitable nor fair in what is supposed to be a government of, by, and for the people; not corporations and labor unions.

(Originally published on WatchBlog.)

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on April 29, 2010 5:18 PM.

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