Democrats introduced some new legislation today:
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the bill would “shine a light on the flood of spending unleashed by the Citizens United decision.” The influential senator hopes to win passage of the bill by July 4, in time to curb any flow of corporate money into the 2010 midterm congressional elections. Sponsors have dubbed the bill the “Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act” – for “DISCLOSE.”
The bill would require the CEO or head of an organization that is the primary financial sponsor of a political ad to claim responsibility for the ad by appearing on camera. Corporations and advocacy groups would be required to create traceable campaign accounts and disclose within 24 hours the source of donations that exceed $1,000.
“I welcome the introduction of this strong bipartisan legislation to control the flood of special interest money into America’s elections,” President Obama said Thursday. “Powerful special interests and their lobbyists should not be able to drown out the voices of the American people.”
The bill also would ban expenditures by any corporation with at least 20% of its stock owned by foreign nationals, or if foreign nationals play a dominant role in the corporation’s leadership.
While it is a little amusing listening to Schumer talk about the disparate impact of powerful special interests a week after he bashed the administration’s Israel policy, these bills at first glance sound pretty good. Let ’em say whatever they want, but make ’em own it.