Legislation aims to disclose major donors to super PACs listen02/22/12 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:
U.S. Representative Kathy Castor is co-sponsoring a bill that would require funding disclosure for political advertisements by super PACs. At a press conference Wednesday, Castor called the unlimited contributions an outrage.
The bill has been named the DISCLOSE Act. It wonâ€™t limit political campaign contributions into super PACs, but it will require disclosure of the top three donors over $10,000. Castor said itâ€™s a step in the right direction to regaining political fairness.
â€œIt would require real-time reporting. So, if someone wanted to find out â€“ well, thatâ€™s an awful ad, I donâ€™t believe thatâ€™s true â€“ they could find out who is responsible and often times itâ€™s a significant corporate interest or special interest that right now is not being identified and should be.â€
The bill in the U.S. House is a response to the Supreme Courtâ€™s Citizens United ruling two years ago. That decision reinforced that money could be used as speech and is thus, protected by the First Amendment. Itâ€™s what allows donors who would otherwise have a $2500 limit to drop millions into what some are calling political slush funds. Castor hopes the controversial ruling will be overturned.
â€œI hope theyâ€™re looking very closely at the consequences because this is not a First Amendment right to corrupt the political process.â€
The DISCLOSE Act passed in the U.S. House last year, but was shot down by the Senate. House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is hoping rejuvenated support from non-governmental agencies will bring life back into the initiative.