Testimony at Public Hearing on Money in Politics Calls for Full Disclosure
Washington, D.C. – Today Elisabeth MacNamara, national President of the League of Women Voters, addressed members of the U.S. Federal Election Commission (FEC) during a public hearing on issues of money in politics. At the hearing, President MacNamara called on the agency to update regulations on campaign finance laws to provide full disclosure in light of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions Citizens United and McCutcheon v. FEC.
“Voters care deeply about this issue of campaign finance and corruption,” said MacNamara. “And voters understand that billionaires and secret organizations don’t represent them and that huge sums of money corrupt our political system.”
“We ask that you update FEC regulations to provide for such full disclosure so that the Court’s decision in Citizens United does not continue as the giant loophole for secret giving that it has become,” MacNamara said.
“This is unacceptable in a democracy,” MacNamara said. “Secret money has no place in America's elections. Voters deserve to know -- have a right to know -- who is making unlimited political expenditures and influencing elections.”
“In addition, SuperPACs and other outside groups can raise and spend unlimited amounts because they are supposedly ‘independent’ from the candidate, but in reality there are many ways to coordinate that are not blocked by current regulations,” MacNamara said. “It is time for the FEC to step in and better regulate these outside groups.”
“The abuses we have talked about today undermine our democracy by corrupting our elections and overwhelming the voices of regular citizens and voters,” concluded MacNamara. “That ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ organizations are violating the law and biasing our elections should not be relevant. Indeed, there are abuses by all sides. The League of Women Voters urges the FEC to protect the voters and enforce the law.”
Contact: Kelly Ceballos, 202-263-1331, [email protected].
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.