Why We Need DISCLOSE

CLC Staff
Jun 18, 2010
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If further proof was needed as to the desperate need to pass the DISCLOSE Act to curb money laundering in federal elections, it was provided today by the Federal Election Commission (FEC). In essence the Commission refused its General Counsel’s recommendation to investigate what appeared to be a clear violation of federal disclosure requirement laws.

If further proof was needed as to the desperate need to pass the DISCLOSE Act to curb money laundering in federal elections, it was provided today by the Federal Election Commission (FEC).  The FEC today announced its decision to close the file on a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) complaint against Freedom’s Watch, after deadlocking 2-3 (Commissioner Walther recused) on whether to heed the General Counsel’s recommendation to investigate (i.e., find “reason to believe”) whether Freedom’s Watch violated federal law disclosure requirements by refusing to disclose the identity of one or more donors who gave the organization funds for the purpose of furthering its electioneering communications.  In essence the Commission refused the General Counsel’s recommendation to investigate what appeared to be clear violation of the law.

The First General Counsel’s Report provides a good summary of disclosure law post-Citizens United.  This action, or failure to act by the current Commission,makes clear that the FEC’s Republican Commissioners are unwilling to even investigate, let alone enforce the meager disclosure laws currently on the books.  Further, the Commission’s failure to act in this matter belies recent claims by DISCLOSE Act opponents (including Cleta Mitchell this week in a Washington Post op-ed) that current law works fine as is.

Today’s FEC action, or more accurately inaction, add to the litany of reason why the public needs Congress to enact the DISCLOSE Act, and enact it quickly.

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