Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Action on Campaign Finance: Call Congress for the DISCLOSE Act

As you probably know, AfD is working as part of the Move to Amend coalition to build support for a 28th Amendment banning corporate personhood and stripping corporations of constitutional rights, including First Amendment political “free” speech rights.

Now that corporate CEOS can give all they want in election campaigns, they and their lobbyists are gearing up to make certain the corporate person is hidden behind the curtain--so we don’t know who is trying to influence whom and for what.

What can you do? Today, we’re asking you to make a call on behalf of the DISCLOSE Act—legislation introduced by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), which would require major special-interest donors to identify themselves on the campaign ads they produce to support—or attack—candidates.

In the House, the DISCLOSE Act has 114 co-sponsors—you can check to see if your member of Congress is one here. If he or she isn't on the list, call and demand that they sign on. On the Senate side, cosponsors are here.

Background: Special interest money has long warped politics and policy development, but the kind of electioneering the DISCLOSE act takes aim at is new, thanks to the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United. Corporations and unions now have the right to fund campaigns for candidates, independent of the candidates' own election committees. What this means is not, as the Court claims, enhanced freedom of speech, but simply more corporate money corrupting our political system.

The DISCLOSE Act is far from the perfect fix. It doesn't attack the root of the problem: the fact that years of corporate-friendly court decisions have conflated free speech with the ability to buy the biggest megaphone.

But even this legislative bandage is under attack, as the US Chamber of Commerce, the National Rifle Association, and other special interest groups pressure Congress to water down this commonsense initiative with amendments that could make it nothing more than lipstick on the corporate cash cow. Make a call today to tell Congress to stand firm!

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