Tester Cracks Down on Special Interests, Sheds More Light on Dark Money

Senator Sponsors “DISCLOSE Act” to Force Political Groups to Make Election Spending Transparent

(U.S. Senate)-U.S. Senator Jon Tester is holding Washington accountable by cracking down on special interests and shedding more light on the dark money flowing into campaigns.

Tester is sponsoring the Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act to require organizations who participate in political activity, including Super PACs, to promptly disclose their donors who give more than $10,000 during an election cycle.

“Our Montana way of life is under constant attack by outsiders who are trying to secretly buy our elections, and I won’t stand for it,” Tester said. “The DISCLOSE Act will force these secret donors out of the dark so the public knows who is paying for the ads that flood their mailboxes and airwaves.”

Tester’s bill will specifically require organizations to disclose their donors who give more than $10,000 during an election cycle to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) within 24 hours of receiving the donation. The organization will be required to file a new disclosure report to the FEC for every new donation over $10,000.

The DISCLOSE Act requires organizations to also disclose the transfer of funds to other groups that are made for the purpose of campaign related expenditures. This provision will prevent organizations from circumventing disclosure requirements by hiding money through different organizations.

To better enforce current laws that prevent foreign nationals and corporations from engaging in political activity, Tester’s bill also prohibits any domestic corporations with significant foreign control or ownership from spending money in U.S. campaigns.

Since the Citizens United Supreme Court decision in 2010, outside spending in Senate races has more than doubled according to PBS. During the 2016 election cycle, the top 40 donors in the country gave more than $1 billion to political campaigns according to Open Secrets.

Tester’s bipartisan campaign finance reform bill that will require candidates to file financial discloses with the FEC online, making them immediately available to the public, passed the Senate last month.

Tester is sponsoring 5 bills to increase transparency in campaigns and reverse the impact of the Citizens United decision. Information on those bills is available HERE.