May 20, 2010
Contact: Aaron Hunter 202-225-2040
Rep. Susan Davis Votes to Level Political Playing Field and Expedite Campaign Disclosures
Davis amendment increases transparency and efficiency of campaign disclosures
Washington – In response to an unpopular 5-4 Supreme Court ruling overturning decades of campaign finance reform law and policy, Congresswoman Susan A. Davis (D-San Diego) voted to strengthen those laws and increase transparency. The Democracy is Strengthened by Casting a Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act (H.R 5175) was approved by the Committee on House Administration.
Davis successfully added an amendment to the DISCLOSE Act to require certain disclosures to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) be filed electronically and posted online right away.
“My amendment improves the bill by providing that voters have information about independent expenditures and electioneering communications in a timely and complete manner,” said Davis. “The DISCLOSE Act lets voters know who’s behind the ads they see. This would make sure they have that information as soon as possible.”
The DISCLOSURE Act is intended to even the political playing field so that all politically active groups—corporations, labor unions, 527 and social welfare and trade organizations—abide by the same rules candidates and parties abide by.
H.R. 5175 aims to show the real money behind the ad by requiring the CEO or covered organization head and top contributor providing the funds to “stand by the ad” the same way candidates must do with their advertisements. Additionally, the top five contributors to an organization must be listed on the screen.
The bill would require any covered organization to disclose within 24 hours to the FEC its campaign-related activity and transfers of money to other groups which then can be used for campaign-related activity.
The DISCLOSE Act seeks to ensure that foreign countries cannot elect our leaders or influence policy. Corporations that are significantly foreign controlled are banned from spending in U.S. elections.
H.R. 5175 protects the integrity of tax dollars so that they are not used to buy favor and influence in Washington. Government contractors with large dollar contracts (more than $50,000) will not be allowed to spend money on campaign ads. Similarly, TARP recipients who have not paid back government funds are also banned from election spending.