Posts tagged transparency
Posts tagged transparency
“Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and a dozen of his Republican colleagues have asked the Federal Communications Commission to resist implementing new rules targeting the makers of political advertisements in the absence of Congress passing new disclosure legislation.”
Buried in the budget released by the White House Wednesday is a provision we can definitely get behind—requiring Senate candidates to file their fundraising reports electronically.
Unlike House members, Senators file their fundraising reports on paper. They are then scanned in by government employees (and can be hundreds of pages!) and uploaded. It’s inefficient and makes it hard for people to track which interests are handing out cash to Senate candidates.
Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont) has introduced legislation to require electronic filing for Senate fundraising reports. It’s good to see the administration on board too.
“Shareholders of [Starbucks] will vote at its March 20 annual meeting on a proposal by John Harrington, who owns 800 shares, to ‘adopt a policy prohibiting the use of corporate funds for any political election or campaign.’”
“WashPIRG and Public Citizen plan to deliver petitions to Starbucks headquarters Tuesday asking CEO Howard Schultz to institute a corporate policy against spending money in elections and to ask other CEOs to do the same.”
“Calling the lack of disclosure on hundreds of millions of dollars in spending during the 2012 election ‘egregious’ and ‘offensive,’ Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is hopeful that senators in both parties are now more amenable to campaign finance disclosure reforms”
Though Nov.1, $213.0 million has been spent by “dark money” groups to influence the 2012 elections. Of that, $172.4 million (81%) has been spent to help Republican candidates, as compared to $35.7 million (19%) to help Democrats.
Here are the details on Sunlight Foundation’s great new app:
Ad Hawk is a free mobile app that allows you to identify political ads as they air and immediately learn about who is behind them. Want to know who is spending money to influence your vote? The app provides valuable contextual information about the candidate, super PAC and issues ads airing on TV and radio this election year.
Through July 26, politically involved groups that do not disclose their donors have spent at least $172 million on campaigns that include television, radio and Internet advertising, according to a Huffington Post review of FEC reports, advertising buys, press releases and news stories. Total spending by these groups is likely far greater, since they are required to report only a fraction of their spending to the FEC. Politically involved independent groups that publicly disclose their donors, including super PACs, have spent $174 million so far this election cycle.
Great exchange between Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Cato’s Ilya Shapiro at yesterday’s Senate hearing on Citizens United.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia talked about campaign finance during an appearance on CNN last night. Here’s what he had to say, via TPM (emphasis added, related to this week’s debate on DISCLOSE):
Asked whether the controversial Citizens United ruling, which affirmed unlimited spending to influence elections, has led to an abuse of the political process, Scalia rejected the view.
“No, I think Thomas Jefferson would have said the more speech the better,” the justice said. “That’s what the First Amendment is all about. So long as the people know where the speech is coming from. … You can’t separate speech from the money that facilitates the speech. It’s utterly impossible. Could you tell newspaper publishers you could only spend so much money in the publication of the newspapers?”
“I think, as I think the framers thought, that the more speech the better. Now, you are entitled to know where the speech is coming from. You know, information as to who contributed what. That’s something else.”