ADVISORY: Members of Congress and Advocacy Groups to Celebrate Reintroduction of Pro-Democracy Legislation

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ADVISORY: Members of Congress and Advocacy Groups to Celebrate Reintroduction of Pro-Democracy Legislation

Press Conference on Citizens United Anniversary to Highlight Range of Solutions to Big Money in Politics, Unity of Democracy Movement

WASHINGTON - WHAT: On the fifth anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, which paved the way for unlimited corporate political spending, 15 U.S. Senators and Representatives will join with a diverse set of democracy groups to mark the reintroduction of legislation covering a host of solutions to the problem of big money domination of our elections. These reform measures include small donor public financing, disclosure, a constitutional amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United and stronger enforcement by federal agencies. The full list of legislation is below.

The growing support for a full range of money in politics solutions is reflected in a newly-released Unity Statement of Principles, signed by 126 organizations, which highlights each individual reform measure as an integral part of the overarching solution.

WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 21 at 10 a.m.

WHERE: Capitol Visitor Center (SVC 214), First St. SE, Washington, D.C.

FEATURED PARTICIPANTS:

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.)
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)
U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
U.S. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.)
U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.)
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
U.S. Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.)
U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.)
U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)
U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.)
U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.)
U.S. Rep. David Price (D-N.C.)
U.S.  Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas)
U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.)

LEGISLATION:

1. Democracy for All Amendment: Provides Congress and the states with the authority to determine reasonable regulations on campaign financing and distinguish between natural persons and other artificial entities under campaign finance laws. Key sponsors: Sens. Udall, Sanders, Tester and Reps. Deutch, Edwards, McGovern.

2. DISCLOSE Act: Establishes a system of disclosure of campaign spending and the sources of those funds for all entities that make independent expenditures (at any time) and electioneering communications (in calendar year of an election for Congress; 120 days before the primary for presidential elections). Key sponsors: Sen. Whitehouse and Rep. Van Hollen.

3. Empowering small donors and increasing political participation: Matching public funds for small dollar contributions and various other provisions. “Government by the People Act” (congressional elections), key sponsor: Rep. Sarbanes. “Empowering Citizens Act” (congressional and presidential elections), key sponsor: Rep. Price. “Fair Elections Now Act” (congressional elections), key sponsor: Sen. Durbin.

4. Prohibit campaign coordination: Clarifies the definition of “coordination” to include the close relationships and ties between a candidate and outside group or super PAC. Key sponsors: Sen. Tester and Rep. Price.

5. Real Time Transparency Act: Requires all political committees, including joint fundraising committees, to disclose electronically within 48 hours all cumulative contributions of $1,000 or more in a calendar year. Key sponsors: Sen. King and Rep. O’Rourke.

6. Sunlight for Unaccountable Nonprofits Act (SUN Act): Makes public the donors who give more than $5,000 to tax-exempt groups that engage in election activities. Key sponsor: Sen. Tester.

7. Shareholder Protection Act:
Requires corporations to disclose to shareholders and the public spending of funds for independent expenditures and electioneering communications, even if such spending is indirectly done through a third party. Key sponsors: Sen. Menendez and Rep. Capuano.

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Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.

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