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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2010
2:25 PM

CONTACT: US PIRG

Lisa Gilbert (202) 546-9707 x368

Washington, DC: It’s Time To Step Up On Disclosure

tatement of U.S. PIRG’s Democracy Advocate Lisa Gilbert on the upcoming cloture vote on the DISCLOSE Act (S. 3628) legislation that responds to the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizen’s United vs. FEC earlier this year

WASHINGTON - September 22 - "The misguided decision by the Supreme Court has literally left us with no choice but to enact new disclosure laws.

"Already in the 2010 election cycle we are feeling the consequences of the sudden infusion of secret cash as we see a flood of deceptive ads run by front groups with innocuous sounding names. Without commonsense legislation to peel back the veneer of respectability from those groups and expose the special interests, regular American voters don’t stand a chance.

"Educated voters make the right decisions, and so we should not be afraid to provide them with the facts. At this point, its time for Senate to step up and pass the DISCLOSE act to give citizens the information they need and deserve about election spending.”

Also see the media advisory below from our Maine office on the press event being held today at 11AM on the DISCLOSE Act in Banger, ME focused on reaching out to the ME Senators.

MEDIA ADVISORY – Press Conference Sept. 22

Support the DISCLOSE Act

Advocates and Small Business will call on Senators to pass legislation requiring disclosure of special interest political spending

What: News Conference to support the DISCLOSE Act, national legislation to require disclosure of special interests spending in elections.

Who:

· Chris Bell, Federal Field Associate, Public Interest Research Group

· Barbara McDade, President, League of Women Voters of Maine

· Rick Schweikert, Owner – the Grasshopper Shop

When: September 22, 11:00am

Where: The Grasshopper Shop

1 West Market Square

Bangor, ME 04401

For more information contact: Chris Bell

Federal Field Associate, U.S. PIRG

207 939 6339

cbell@pirg.org

BACKGROUND:

BANGOR, Sept. 22 – Last January the Supreme Court turned its back on decades of precedent and more than a century of American tradition with its ruling in “Citizens United vs. The Federal Elections Commission,” which stated that corporations have the same political speech rights as citizens.

As a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United vs. FEC, all organizations, corporations, and unions are free to take unlimited corporate money and make unlimited political expenditures. Special interests have been freed to use their money to influence our elections, with American people left in the dark concerning the sources of the money.

This past April, the DISCLOSE Act was introduced to address the consequences of this ruling. This is the most far-reaching campaign finance reform law since McCain-Feingold, and does more to strengthen disclosure and transparency than any measure in recent history.

A recent poll by Maine Citizens for Clean Elections demonstrates that 85% of Maine citizens believe it is important to know who paid for the political communications they see and hear, meaning the legislation represents a rare opportunity this season to act with a broad bipartisan consensus. Representatives from the League of Women Voters, US PIRG, and the small business community will gather in Bangor to urge Senators Snowe and Collins to return to the negotiating table and to work out any outstanding issues, in an effort to help pass this vital legislation.

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U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), stands up to powerful special interests on behalf of the American public, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. With a strong network of researchers, advocates, organizers and students in state capitols across the country, we take on the special interests on issues, such as product safety,political corruption, prescription drugs and voting rights,where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress.



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