CONGRESSMAN CHRIS VAN HOLLEN
Maryland’s 8th District
For Immediate Release
January 21, 2016
Van Hollen Statement on Anniversary of Citizens United
Washington, DC – Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen released the following statement on the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission:
“Today was a dark day in history for the Supreme Court, and for the health of our democracy. The Citizens United ruling was radical and deeply flawed. We desperately need to rein in the influence of Super PACs, as well as the secret money flowing into our elections. That’s why we need to reverse Citizens United, and why I wrote the DISCLOSE Act – because voters in Maryland and across the country deserve to know when wealthy special interests are trying to rig the system at the expense of hardworking families.”
In June, 2010, the House passed the DISCLOSE Act, which required enhanced donor disclosure. Unfortunately, the Senate version of the bill died after falling one vote short of breaking a filibuster. The consequences have been stark. In the absence of this enhanced disclosure, we saw an estimated $135 million of secret money funneled into the Congressional elections in 2010. In 2012, we saw an estimated $ 300 million of secret money funneled into the Presidential election. Most recently, approximately $173 million of undisclosed outside money poured into the 2014 midterm elections.
The DISCLOSE Act would:
· Increase disclosure of political spending by corporations and outside groups to the federal election commission;
· Require corporations and outside groups to stand by their broadcast ads;
· Require corporations to disclose their expenditures to their shareholders and organizations to disclose their expenditures to their members; and,
· Require lobbyists to disclose their campaign expenditures.