Tester announces legislative package to shed light on dark money
Senators bills require nonprofit political groups to disclose donors
(U.S. Senate) - On the fifth anniversary of the disastrous Supreme Court Citizens United decision, Senator Jon Tester is banding with other Senators and Congressmen to announce a legislative package to shed light on dark money in politics.
Tester today announced his support for six bills: his SUN Act, the DISCLOSE Act, the Real Time Transparency Act, the Democracy for All America Constitutional Amendment, Corporations Aren't People Constitutional Amendment, and the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act. A description of each bill is below.
"The flood of dark money into our elections is one of the biggest threats to our democracy. It empowers a wealthy few to drown out the voices of regular folks," Tester said. "We must bring sensible limitations and transparency to campaigns, so voters know who is trying to influence their vote."
In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that the Citizens United decision also restricted states from regulating campaign finance, overturning Montana's century old contribution limits.
Tester introduced a Constitutional Amendment in 2013 to overturn the Citizens United decision after three out of four Montana voters instructed the state's Congressional delegation to do so.
Tester's legislative package includes:
SUN Act - Requires the IRS make public the donors who give more than $5,000 to tax-exempt groups that engage in electioneering. This bill does not impact non-profits that do not engage in election activities.
DISCLOSE Act - Requires all groups that engage in more than $10,000 of political spending to disclose their donors.
Real Time Transparency Act - Requires all political committees, including joint fundraising committees, to electronically disclose all cumulative contributions of $1,000 or more with 48 hours.
Democracy for All America Constitutional Amendment - Clarifies that money is not speech and finds that Congress and state legislatures have the ability to set reasonable limits on campaign spending.
Corporations Aren't People Constitutional Amendment - States that corporations aren't people.
Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act - Requires Senate candidates to electronically file their campaign finance reports online, saving taxpayers nearly $500,000 every year.
These bills were previously introduced in the 113th Congress, Senator Tester is reintroducing them in the 114th Congress