Tester donates support to DISCLOSE Act
Senators bill will bring more transparency to elections, improve government
(U.S. SENATE) - Not afraid to publically state where he stands, Senator Jon Tester today announced that he is co-sponsoring the DISCLOSE Act to improve America's elections, increase transparency and build trust in government.
Due to the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision, corporations and wealthy individuals can secretly spend unlimited money to influence elections without any transparency or accountability. The DISCLOSE Act requires any organization or individual who spends $10,000 or more on a political campaign to report it within 24 hours. Senator John Walsh (D-Mont.) is also a co-sponsor.
Tester, who introduced a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United, says increasing transparency in elections will let Americans know who is trying to influence their vote so they can hold their leaders accountable.
"In Montana, we know that more transparency equals better government," said Tester, the first Senator to put his public schedule online. "Citizens United is allowing a handful of billionaires, corporations and secretive groups representing special interests to try and buy votes. The DISCLOSE Act is a responsible step toward making sure that regular folks decide the course of our future."
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, election spending from undisclosed sources in the 2012 election cycle topped $310 million - up from just $69 million in 2008. The DISCLOSE Act includes provisions to prevent these secretive organizations from shifting money around to hide donors' identities.
Tester supported a previous, identical version of the DISCLOSE Act in 2012. That July he took to the Senate floor to highlight how the measure improves the democratic process by strengthening the power and freedoms of individuals.
"Transparency keeps people from being able to buy something that all Americans are entitled to no matter how much money they have: the power to vote," Tester said. "The DISCLOSE Act strengthens our freedom to make informed decisions about our democracy."
Tester, a member of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, is also a supporter of numerous other provisions to increase government accountability in the election process. His Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act forces all U.S. Senate candidates to file their quarterly campaign finance reports electronically with the Federal Election Commission.
A copy of the DISCLOSE Act, which stands for Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections, is available online HERE.