New Campaign Finance Bill Would Force Private Groups to Publicize Donors in Political Ads

May 5, 2010 05:51

Jeff Patch, communications director for the Center for Competitive Politics, told that the new legislation would impose a “web” of new regulations on private political advocates, forcing them to devote most of their ad to reading disclaimers.

By Matt Cover at

A new effort by congressional Democrats to curtail campaign finance spending by private groups would force those groups to make public the names of their top donors in political advertisements, both on radio and on television.

The bill, known as the DISCLOSE Act (Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections), seeks to restrict campaign expenditures and force advocacy groups, unions, and other corporations to disclose their major donors and political advertising budgets.

The legislation, which will be introduced in both chambers of Congress, is a response to the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC, which held that Congress could not restrict campaign advertising done by advocacy groups and other corporations.

Senator Charles Schumer is the DISCLOSE Act’s primary Senate sponsor. At an Apr. 29 press conference to announce the legislation, Schumer said, “Our bill will follow the money. In cases where corporations try to mask their activities through shadow groups, we drill down so that ultimate funder of the expenditure [ad] is disclosed.”


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