This week, the Senate will start to debate how dark money will impact our elections.
Voters have a right to know who is making large campaign contributions to influence their votes.Undisclosed political spending has exploded in recent elections, with roughly $1billion spent since 2010by dark money groups. This represents massive growth over the last few decades, with many recent federal elections setting records for the most outside political spending.
The funding that candidates and dark money groups raise goes largely to advertising, which is intentionally used to influence voters’ decision. Although funding is necessary to run for office, dark, undisclosed money opens the door for elected officials to take office without the public knowing which organizations helped them get elected.
Contact your senators today and tell them now is the time to root out dark money that has an increasing influence on our federal elections.
The Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections Act or the DISCLOSE Act of 2021 (S. 443) requires organizations to disclose political donations over $10,000 during an election cycle. The League supports this legislation because we believe that Americans deserve to know who is trying to influence their vote.
Outside groups, like PACs and other dark money groups who choose not to reveal the sources of all of their funding, have a major influence on elections without voters knowing their identities. Transparency is a baseline requirement for a healthy democracy. The DISCLOSE Act does not limit the volume of political contributions that Americans can make, rather it focuses on the disclosure of large expenditures by corporations, labor organizations, and political organizations. This bill also curbs foreign national participation in campaign spending and requires the disclosure of large donors at the end of television ads.
Corporations and wealthy individuals should not have the power to make undisclosed political contributions that influence elections. The time has come for the US Congress to return electoral power to the people. Disclosure of large political spending should be the bare minimum requirement to provide voters with critical information about who is spending money in our federal elections.
Contact your senators and tell them that now is the time to stop protecting large, anonymous political spenders. The threat of undisclosed money in elections is ever-growing, and we cannot combat it without your help. It is only with a united voice that we will safeguard our democracy.