Learn more about our policy experts.

Media Contacts

Angela Bradbery, Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7741
c. (202) 503-6768
abradbery@citizen.org, Twitter

Barbara Holzer, Broadcast Manager
w. (202) 588-7716

Karilyn Gower, Press Officer
w. (202) 588-7779

David Rosen, Press Officer, Regulatory Affairs
w. (202) 588-7742

Symone Sanders, Communications Officer, Global Trade Watch division
w. (202) 454-5108

Other Important Links

Press Release Database
Citizen Vox blog
Texas Vox blog
Consumer Law and Policy blog
Energy Vox blog
Eyes on Trade blog

Follow us on Twitter


July 27, 2010

After Senate GOP Blocks Disclosure of Money in Politics, Public Citizen Urges Reconsideration of the DISCLOSE Act for the 2012 Elections

Statement of Craig Holman, Ph.D., Government Affairs Lobbyist, Public Citizen

Today in the U.S. Senate, partisan politics prevailed over the public interest as all Republican senators marched in lockstep to the orders of Republican party leaders and blocked a vote on the DISCLOSE Act (S. 3628). The failure of even a single Republican senator to vote for debate and consideration of the bill means there will be no disclosure of who is behind the expected onslaught of corporate spending in the 2010 elections – an onslaught created by the recent disastrous Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Voters will be left clueless as to who is funding the “independent” TV ads promoting and attacking candidates and how much these secretive funders are paying for these ads.

 This lack of disclosure is exactly what Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the national Republican Party want. This is partisan politics at its worst.

Several Republican members of Congress have a long history of supporting transparency when it comes to money in politics, though none in the Senate displayed that sense today. The issue is not whether there is a Republican member of Congress who supports disclosure – there are plenty – but whether one or more of these public officials are willing to stand for this principle against the wishes of national Republican Party leaders.

Public Citizen strongly encourages these members to show once again the leadership and independence for which they are well-respected. They should revisit the DISCLOSE Act following the August recess and vote at long last to bring all this special interest money out from the shadows for the next election.

Wall Street and the insurance industry – angered by the efforts of the current Congress to rein in corporate abuses – are gearing up to finance a tsunami of TV commercials expected to favor Republicans and attack Democrats in the 2010 elections. Sen. McConnell and his fellow Republican senators see this expected wave of campaign spending on the behalf of Republican candidates as their party’s best hope of taking back Congress. Short-term political calculations thus underlie today’s party-line vote against full disclosure of the funding of campaign ads.

 The DISCLOSE Act will not fade away. Recent polls show that eight in 10 Americans oppose the Citizens United decision, and just as many strongly favor full transparency of money in politics. Americans are likely to be repulsed by the wave of campaign attack ads, paid for by unnamed sources, and will once again demand full disclosure.

Public Citizen firmly supports swift ratification of a strong DISCLOSE Act. But Public Citizen will also continue encouraging Congress to advance bolder measures to address the Citizens United decision, including:

• providing candidates with substantial public financing for their campaigns to help offset new corporate spending in elections (H.R. 1826 and S. 751, known as the “Fair Elections Now Act”);
• requiring that corporate expenditures in politics be approved by a majority of outstanding shareholders (H.R. 4790, known as the “Shareholder Protection Act”); and
• promoting a constitutional amendment that clarifies that First Amendment protections do not apply to for-profit corporations, except for legitimate media organizations, and that corporations therefore do not have the right to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence election outcomes.

The American public deserves no less.

Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.


Copyright © 2015 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.

Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation


Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.


To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.