Kaine Statement Ahead of Vote on Legislation to Ensure Transparency in U.S. Elections
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement ahead of the Senate vote on the Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act, legislation he has cosponsored which would improve transparency around political spending in federal elections:
“The DISCLOSE Act is critical legislation to strengthen campaign finance laws to make sure the public knows who is spending money to influence federal elections. While additional reforms are needed to protect the voice of the American people in our democracy, including voting rights and good government measures, this legislation is a step in the right direction,” said Kaine. “The best way to fight dark money spending is with sunlight and full transparency, and the DISCLOSE Act would do so.”
Outside group spending in federal elections has skyrocketed since the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC. Many of the biggest spenders, such as certain corporations, special interests, and political groups, are not required under current law to disclose their donors, creating hurdles to transparency and making it difficult to understand how dark money is influencing elections.
The DISCLOSE Act would improve current law to require organizations and lobbyists spending money in elections to disclose their large donors and certify that they are not using foreign money for election spending. Under current law, foreign nationals and foreign corporations are prohibited from engaging in any election spending, but domestic companies with significant foreign ownership are not subject to the same restrictions. The DISCLOSE Act would also close this loophole and prohibit domestic corporations with significant foreign control, ownership, or direction from spending money in U.S. elections.
Senator Kaine has also cosponsored previous versions of this legislation.