WASHINGTON — In an effort to address Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, New Mexico’s two U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich cosponsored a bill led by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) to address threats to America’s campaign finance system.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United has allowed secret, dark money to flood into our elections – drowning out the voices of regular citizens.
The DISCLOSE Act would require organizations spending money in elections to disclose all their donors. The new bill would also crack down on shell companies by requiring companies spending money in elections to disclose the true owner of the company, so election officials and the public know who is behind the company.
Under current law, foreign nationals and foreign corporations are prohibited from engaging in any election spending. However, domestic companies with significant foreign ownership are not subject to the same restrictions. The DISCLOSE Act of 2017 would prohibit domestic corporations with significant foreign control, ownership, or direction from spending money in U.S. elections.
Tom Udall said in a statement “Our existing campaign finance laws are not nearly sufficient to ensure that the American people have full ownership over their democracy. Big corporations and billionaires can spend freely and anonymously, and Russia and other foreign adversaries can exploit the lack of disclosure in our campaign finance system to secretly funnel money into American elections. We urgently need to pass the DISCLOSE Act to shine a light on secret money and return our democracy to we the people.”
Martin Heinrich also weighed in. “American elections belong to the American people, not to corporations or foreign governments,” said Heinrich. “Dark money in politics derails important issues that matter to working families in New Mexico. We need to restore transparency and accountability to our political system and the integrity of U.S. democratic institutions.”Like this story? Sign up for our daily newsletter to get more of our best original news.