Tester Introduces ‘Spotlight Act' to Overturn Treasury Department's Campaign Finance Rule

Senator Demands Transparency in Elections, Holds Washington Accountable to Montanans

(U.S. Senate)-After calling a recent Treasury Department decision one of the “swampiest,” U.S. Senator Jon Tester is again standing up to special interests by introducing legislation to overturn the controversial new rule and to shine more light on dark money flooding Montana’s elections.

Tester’s Spotlight Act requires certain political non-profit organizations to disclose their donors, reversing Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s rule to roll back campaign finance rules.

“Ever since the days of the Copper Kings, special interests have been trying to buy our elections and Montanans have said ‘no way,'” said Tester. “This legislation will hold political groups accountable to the American people, and it will bring more transparency to campaigns.”

Under current law, 501(c)(3) organizations are required to provide donor information to the IRS, however, the Treasury Secretary has discretion about whether to require donor information for the other types of tax-exempt organizations. Mnuchin recently decided he would not collect that information.

Tester’s Spotlight Act will require three nonprofit organizations (501(c)(4), 501(c)(5), and 501(c)(6)) to disclose publicly and to the IRS the names of donors who contribute more than $5,000. 

“Dark money is a threat to our democracy,” Tester added. “I will do everything I can to defend Montanans from this shadowy behavior because we need more light in our elections not less.”

Tester last week announced his opposition to the nomination for the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau because she would not denounce the Treasury Department decision.

Tester, a longtime advocate for campaign finance reform, has sponsored multiple bills to reverse the impacts of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and increase transparency in elections.