Urgent: DISCLOSE ACT Action Alert


NPAN wrapper 30th anniversary

As you probably know by now, the US House of Representatives is poised to take up the DISCLOSE Act later this week.  Introduced in the wake of the Supreme Court’s unpopular decision in Citizens United v. FEC, which allows unlimited independent spending by corporations in support of or opposition to candidates for federal public office, the DISCLOSE Act is an attempt to mitigate the impact of the Court’s decision.  Unfortunately, new language in the bill will create an exemption from the Act’s disclosure and disclaimer requirements for large, powerful organizations, which, given the amendment’s language, in reality only applies to one entity, the National Rifle Association.  See yesterday's CQ Politics News article for more information about this dangerous exception.

Consequently, we have no choice but to oppose the passage of the DISCLOSE Act as it currently stands.  Regardless of your position about the legislation in general, we think you will agree with us that this special carve-out is undemocratic and dangerous.  We urge you to sign on to the below letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressing our profound disappointment and anger about the special treatment provided to those least in need of special treatment.

If your organization would like to sign on, please email Lauren.bohdan@afj.org by noon (Eastern) tomorrow, Wednesday, June 16.

Thank you,

NanSignature.gif

Nan Aron

President, Alliance for Justice

**********************************************

Dear Madam Speaker:

The Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United, which allows unlimited independent spending by corporations in support of or opposition to political candidates, has derailed many of the most important campaign finance reform reforms enacted over the past several decades. Many organizations committed to the preservation of fundamental principles of American democracy agreed with President Obama when he used the occasion of the State of the Union address to call on Congress to write legislation that would overturn the most egregious ramifications of the Citizens United decision.

We strongly believe that the Citizens United decision poses a threat to the integrity of the electoral process and we support legislation that provides for effective disclosure, while at the same time protecting free and independent speech and promoting active participation in elections by individuals and organizations.
However, we must respectfully express our profound opposition to the effort to create an exemption from the disclosure requirements for large, powerful organizations, which, given the amendment’s language, in reality only applies to one entity, the National Rifle Association.

It is unconscionable to create a two-tiered system of campaign finance laws and First Amendment protections, one for the most powerful and influential and another for everyone else. There is no legitimate justification for privileging the speech of one entity over another, or of reducing the burdens of compliance for the biggest organization yet retaining them for the smallest.

We urge you in the strongest possible terms to work with the sponsors to remove the offending language and restore the integrity of the bill so we can continue to participate in efforts to craft legislation that achieves the goal we all share to undo the damage of Citizens United and restore the integrity of our democratic system. In its current form, however, we have no choice but to oppose the passage of the DISCLOSE Act.

Respectfully,

[Sign here

© 2005 Alliance for Justice

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