FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Martha Patzer
July 27, 2010 202-263-1332


OBSTRUCTIONIST POLITICS BLOCKS DISCLOSE ACT IN SENATE
Close Fight Makes League Hopeful for Victory in the Fall

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The League of Women Voters of the U.S. issued the following statement on the obstructionism that prevented the Senate from beginning debate on the DISCLOSE Act today. The DISCLOSE Act aims to restore transparency to U.S. elections after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

“It is sad to see Senators cling to partisanship and obstructionism once again, instead of working together to find a middle ground on the DISCLOSE Act,” said Elisabeth MacNamara, national president of the League of Women Voters. “This is a failure for which voters will have to pay this November when corporate and other special interests use secret money to influence our elections.

“In the wake of Citizens United, the DISCLOSE Act is essential. It requires CEOs to stand by their ads, and exposes special interest groups behind last-minute attacks. It stops manipulation of elections by fly-by-night hit groups, and prevents U.S. corporations controlled by foreign – or even hostile – governments from pumping secret money into our elections.

“How can individual voters compete with organizations that not only have vested interests in Washington, but millions of dollars to make sure those interests are protected?

“Opponents of the DISCLOSE Act have put forth various criticisms—some true and others based on misinterpretations—justifying their obstruction. But the bottom line is that voters deserve to know who is paying for election advertising. This is not only common sense – it is crucial if voters are to remain the cornerstone of our democracy.

“We would like to know what these opponents have to fear from disclosure of election advertising. Furthermore, what is to prevent them from falling victim to the deceitful advertising which they are refusing to regulate?

“We urge Senators Snowe and Collins of Maine, and Senator Brown of Massachusetts, to work out their differences with Senate leadership, and create a bill they can support. This is the right thing to do, and in line with the independent thinking these Senators have displayed in the past on other Senate bills.

“The DISCLOSE Act is fair and equitable legislation that does not favor unions or either political party. The League will continue to fight for enhanced disclosure—and we look forward to the Senate doing the right thing when they return from recess in September.”

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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.