Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cornell du Houx on DISCLOSE Act

Via bluemir at Dirigo Blue, here's state Rep. Alex Cornell du Houx on the DISCLOSE Act. (Published before Sen. Collins admitted that she'll help block the law from an up-or-down vote)

We can't know exactly how corporations will use their new [post-Citizens United] influence in the 2010 elections. But we can make sure that their campaign expenditures are as limited, and as transparent, as possible...

The DISCLOSE Act would close the loophole that allows foreign-controlled domestic subsidiaries to participate in American elections, and make sure that government contractors and recipients of TARP funds couldn't curry favor by buying campaign ads.

It would establish new rules to prevent outside spenders from coordinating their campaign activities with candidates and political parties. And it would also impose strict transparency requirements-all corporate and labor union expenditures for or against a candidate would need to be reported promptly and clearly, and a company’s CEO would have to appear in all of its political ads, much like candidates must "approve the message" of ads funded by their campaigns.

The DISCLOSE Act isn’t perfect, but what it does is simple and important: It takes a harmful Supreme Court decision and ensures that it can do as little damage as possible in a quickly approaching election.

It is now up to the Senate to pass DISCLOSE in time for voters to have the information we need as we go to the polls in November...Big business lobbyists, who embraced the Citizens United decision and plan to spend millions on the 2010 elections, have been ratcheting up their efforts to defeat DISCLOSE, and have gotten most of the Republican caucus on board.

When the Senate votes on DISCLOSE this Tuesday, the votes of Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins will be crucial to its passage.

Both have been strong supporters of transparency and accountability in the past, but rarely have the voices against honest government been so loud. They will hear plenty from the business lobby; now they need to hear from ordinary citizens.

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