Friday, September 24, 2010
September 24, 2010
Thank you for contacting me regarding the Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act. I greatly appreciate hearing your thoughts on this important issue.
In January 2010, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled on the case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that the First Amendment cannot limit corporate funding of political advertisements in candidate elections. This decision effectively overturned decades of campaign finance law.
In response to the court's decision, the DISCLOSE Act was introduced in the Senate on April 30, 2010, to mitigate the harmful effects of the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United.
The DISCLOSE Act would implement comprehensive disclosure requirements on corporations, unions, and other organizations that spend money on federal election campaigns. By increasing the transparency of campaign spending by these groups, this bi-partisan legislation seeks to diminish unregulated corporate power over elections. Under the legislation the leaders of corporations, unions, and other organizations would be required to appear on camera for election advertisements that their groups have funded. They would also be required to list the top five donors at the end of every campaign advertisement. Additionally, the legislation would take steps to eliminate the influence of foreign corporations on American elections.
I believe that the court's decision puts the voices of ordinary Americans at risk of being drowned out by direct corporate spending on elections. North Carolina deserves open and transparent elections, and that is why I am a co-sponsor of the DISCLOSE Act. Unfortunately, to date the DISCLOSE Act has been blocked from even being considered in the United States Senate. I believe that this legislation would ensure that average American voters are the ones in charge during elections, not special interest money. I can assure you that I will continue to do everything within my power to protect the integrity of the elections process.
Again, thank you for contacting my office. It is truly an honor to represent North Carolina in the United States Senate, and I hope you will not hesitate to contact me in the future should you have any further questions or concerns.
Kay R. Hagan