Tester statement on DISCLOSE Act vote

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon tester today released the following statement after voting in favor of The DISCLOSE Act, which would strengthen transparency in campaign financing:

“Today I voted to shine more sunlight on political campaigns and give the American people—not large and even foreign-owned corporations—control over America’s elections.

“Without this legislation, folks in Montana are bound to see more deceptive political ads funded by shadowy organizations who won’t even identify themselves.  Unfortunately, not enough folks in Washington were willing to stand up to those groups today.

“I’ll keep fighting to see that American elections are influenced by the people, not by secretive, corporate special interest groups.”

Earlier this year, Tester challenged a secretive organization responsible for misleading television ads in Montana, calling on the “Committee for Truth in Politics” to reveal who they are and where their funding comes from.

“As you well know, this TV ad is flat out false,” Tester wrote in a letter to the only two people reported to be involved with the group. “Out-of-state, secretive organizations that spread fear and confusion have no place in a state like Montana.”

Tester has received no reply from the group.

Tester is a cosponsor of the Senate DISCLOSE Act (available online HERE), which:

  • Does not include the House of Representatives’ specific exemption for labor unions
  • Restricts Wall Street bailout recipients’ spending 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)
  • Restricts government contractors’ spending on elections
  • Prevents foreign-owned corporations from spending money on elections
  • Requires top donors and corporate leaders to identify ads they fund (with disclaimers such as “I approved this message.”)

The legislation is a response to The Supreme Court decision in the case Citizens United v. FEC that struck down large parts of campaign finance law and opened the door to unchecked spending on political campaigns by American and foreign-owned corporations.