Washington, DC – In response to a U.S. Treasury Department announcement that it will no longer require certain tax-exempt organizations to identify their financial donors to U.S. tax authorities, including foreign governments, the League of Women Voters president Chris Carson issued the following statement:
“This decision is just the latest attack on election transparency by this administration. One day after President Trump’s unprecedented meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, this new policy will only make it easier for foreign interests to influence American elections.
“Eliminating disclosure rules clears the way for big money and special interests to hijack our elections. As the midterm elections quickly approach, politicians should be listening to their constituents, not high-dollar donors. Voters have the right to know who or what is trying to influence their vote. Our elections should be free from corruption and the influence of wealthy special interests.
“This policy is incompatible with a democracy that reflects the will of all voters.”
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We are all aware that the huge amount of special interest money, particularly in federal races, has been a problem for years. We also know that these problems have been magnified by the Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case which unleashed corporate spending for supposedly independent campaign expenditures and which has resulted in millions and millions of dollars in secret contributions.
President Obama called for “reduc[ing] the influence of money in our politics, so that a handful of families or hidden interests can’t bankroll our elections” during his final State of the Union speech. As we mark the sixth anniversary of Citizens United v. FEC, here are four solutions for fighting the influence of money in politics.