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Feb. 9, 2012

Applause to Van Hollen for Reintroducing DISCLOSE Act; GOP Leadership Should Stop Blocking Transparency

Statement of Craig Holman, Government Affairs Lobbyist, Public Citizen

Public Citizen heartily applauds Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s (D-Md.) effort to lift the veil of secrecy that cloaks who is buying our elections. He introduced a straightforward measure today that would reveal the origins of secretive corporate slush funds that flood American elections. The stripped-down version of the DISCLOSE Act would require all entities that make campaign expenditures, including third-party front groups, to disclose the sources of those funds.

At this critical time when the U.S. Supreme Court has permitted unlimited corporate money to flood our elections – thanks to its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission – we no longer have a meaningful disclosure law in place. The DISCLOSE Act closes the gaping loopholes in current disclosure laws that allow corporations, unions and wealthy individuals to hide their campaign spending by funneling their money through innocuous-sounding front groups.

It is both a travesty and betrayal of the professed principles of the many in Congress who claim to support open government and honest elections that the majority of congressional Republicans continue to block transparency of money in politics. Many Republicans supported transparency until very recently.

Public Citizen calls upon all members of Congress to stand true to their principles and bring this new corporate money out of the shadows.

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