The House voted yesterday on the Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act. Here are some specifics on what the bill would do:
Prevent U.S. corporations controlled by foreign governments from pumping in secret money to influence U.S. elections;
Require corporate CEOs to stand by their ads in the same way that candidates do, and require corporations and other organizations to disclose their political expenditures;
Prevent large entities receiving taxpayer money – including government contractors and TARP recipients – from making political expenditures;
Stop the manipulation of elections by fly-by-night “hit” groups funded by corporations, special interests, foreign companies, and multimillionaires;
Give shareholders, organization members, and the public the right to know about corporate and interest group campaign expenditures;
The bill passed by a 219-206 margin and here is how our members of the delegation came down:
Democrats are in blue, and Republicans are in red.
Congressman Rothman is listed as not voting on the bill. Following the vote, here is what Congressman Holt had to say about the need for the bill:
“Would you want Hugo Chavez or Vladimir Putin to attack a candidate in your state using a sham front organization? Would you want BP to set up ‘Americans for Clean Water’ so it can discretely run against candidates who stand for accountability? Would you want a corporation that received TARP funding to use taxpayer dollars to run a political ad? This legislation would prevent all of that from happening,”
The bill was drafted after the “Citizen’s United” Supreme Court decision in January. Questions have been raised about exemptions in the bill for groups like the NRA. It looks like there may still me more work to do, but this takes steps forward.