Statement by Trevor Potter on the Urgent Need for the DISCLOSE Act
Trevor Potter, president of Campaign Legal Center (CLC), and a Republican Former Chairman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), released the following statement:
“This week, the Senate will hold a procedural vote to open debate on the Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act – a bill that is crucial to the First Amendment right of all Americans to have our voices heard. Since my time with the FEC, the amount of money spent by corporations and other special interests seeking to influence our elections has risen dramatically, with much of that spending coming from donors who deliberately hide their identities from voters and the public at large.
Voters have a fundamental right to know who is spending money to influence our elections – knowledge regarding who is funding political ads allows us to weigh their credibility and cast an informed vote. Secret spending, sometimes known as “dark money,” undermines voters’ right to information necessary to meaningfully participate in the democratic process - a right identified by the Supreme Court in their ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. This is why the need for the DISCLOSE Act is so great and so urgent. This bill would mandate transparency from 501(c)(4) organizations and other entities that seek to influence our vote (by directly spending on political ads or funding super PACs that do so) while concealing their true funding sources.
As the Senate moves toward this procedural vote, I urge every single member of the chamber to vote in the affirmative and advance this bill. American voters deserve transparency in their elections, and they deserve a public debate on this long overdue legislation.”