Tester: DISCLOSE Act needed for transparency, accountability

Bill brings transparency to campaign funding after controversial Supreme Court case

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after cosponsoring the Senate DISCLOSE Act.  The legislation would make campaign funding more transparent after the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United v. FEC decision opened the door to allow unchecked spending on political campaigns by American and foreign-owned corporations.

“Montanans and all Americans need this legislation in order to make sure our government is—and always will be—influenced and elected by American people, not corporations.   And especially not by corporate interests in other countries.

“This bill brings transparency and accountability back into the equation after an unfortunate decision that gives corporations a lot more influence over America’s elections.

“It’s only common sense that all corporations be held accountable for their political funding.”

The Senate DISCLOSE Act would, in part:

  • Prevent Wall Street bailout recipients from spending money on elections (Tester was the only Senate Democrat to have voted against both the bailout of Wall Street and of the U.S. auto industry)
  • Prevent government contractors from spending money on elections.
  • Prevent foreign-owned corporations from spending money on elections.
  • Require corporate leaders to identify ads they fund (with disclaimers such as “I approved this message.”)
  • Require top donors to appear in ads they fund, in order to prevent “shadow organizations” such as the secretive Committee for Truth in Politics.

The decision in Citizens United v. FEC paved the way for a challenge to an initiative passed by Montana voters in 1912 prohibiting corporate spending in state elections.

A detailed summary of the Senate DISCLOSE Act is available online HERE. Text of the legislation is online HERE.