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

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

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 - "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.

###

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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