In light of Tuesday’s decision by the Senate Republicans to block the DISCLOSE Act, last week’s Netroots Nation panel discussion about overturning the Citizens United ruling becomes even more important. The panelists, who included Public Citizen President Robert Weissman and U.S. Reps. Donna Edwards and Alan Grayson, said that the Citizens United ruling, which opened the way for corporations to spend an unlimited amount of money to influence elections, has emboldened corporations and their lobbyists. Grayson said a corporate lobbyist “can walk into your and office, say ‘I have $5 million, and I can spend it for you or against you.’…this really is a threat to our democracy.”
The DISCLOSE Act, which was passed by the House, would have mitigated the damage from Citizens United by shining a light on the money behind campaign ads. The act would have required the front groups that pay for campaign ads to identify their major donors of $1,000 or more.
By not allowing the Senate to vote on the DISCLOSE Act, the GOP has set the stage for a corporate free-for-all in this fall’s midterm elections.