FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kelly Ceballos
April 29, 2010 202-263-1331


LAWMAKERS MOVE TO BLOCK SECRET, FOREIGN MONEY FOR 2010 ELECTIONS
“Voters Need to Know” Who is Paying for Elections in Response to Citizens United

Washington, DC – The League of Women Voters is pleased with today’s announcement by Senator Charles Schumer, Representative Chris Van Hollen and others that new campaign finance reform legislation (the DISCLOSE Act) is being   introduced in both chambers of Congress.

“We are very pleased that the congressional leadership will be moving quickly in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision,” said Mary G. Wilson, national President of the League of Women Voters.  “Senator Schumer and Representative Van Hollen have laid out a balanced response that must be enacted immediately to ensure that the 2010 election is not swamped with secret corporate money.”

“This is a good and strong, and very reasonable approach to the Supreme Court's decision,” Wilson stated.  “The legislation today focuses on several key areas – heightened disclosure requirements; more complete disclaimers; barring election spending by foreign corporations; clear coordination rules; and barring election ads by corporations closely connected to the government.  These steps build on disclosure and disclaimer requirements approved by the Court and will codify that foreign interests should not be allowed to intervene in American elections.” 

In February, the League of Women Voters testified before the Committee on House Administration in a hearing entitled Defining the Future of Campaign Finance in an Age of Supreme Court Activism. At the hearing, President Wilson told committee members that they must pass legislation governing corporate and union spending quickly, in order for it to take effect for the 2010 elections. “We urgently need enhanced disclosure,” Wilson said.

“Voters deserve to know who is paying for election advertising,” Wilson said.  “Secret money, especially secret foreign money, has no place in America’s democracy. CEOs and corporate leaders will now have to appear in their ads with a powerful ‘stand by your ad’ provision.”

“This is a serious effort at balanced legislation,” stated Wilson.  “We deeply hope that our elected representatives in Washington will give it the careful consideration it deserves.  Our election system and our nation need Congress to act quickly, before the 2010 elections,” Wilson concluded.

The League’s statement on the Citizens United decision can be found here.  The League filed an amicus brief in this case.  Reporters may contact Kelly Ceballos (kceballos@lwv.org or 202-263-1331) to set up media interviews with President Mary Wilson.

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The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.