Argument: General statements in favor of campaign ad transparency


“We don’t know who’s behind these ads or who’s paying for them,” President Obama argued in September of 2010, adding that even foreign-controlled companies can finance political ads in the U.S. as a way to influence elections.

Obama said he and Democratic leaders have tried to fix the problem with a “common sense” law, but Republican leaders in Congress are blocking the legislation.

“They’ve blocked this bill from even coming up for a vote in the Senate. It’s politics at its worst,” Obama said.[1]

Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.: “We have these nameless, faceless individuals spending huge amounts of money, corporate money and other money. There is certainly no transparency whatsoever.”[2]

Public Citizen joined with several other organizations calling upon congressional leaders to pass the 2010 US DISCLOSE Act. In at May 27th letter to Congress: “Our organizations urge you to vote for the Van Hollen-Castle legislation to require timely and effective disclosure by corporations, labor unions, trade associations and non-profit advocacy groups of their campaign-related expenditures and the funders of these expenditures.”[3]

“Make Corporate Election Funding Transparent.” Petition: “Now that the Supreme Court has decided that unlimited amounts of corporate and union treasury funds can be funneled into elections, it is crucial that the spending is fully transparent.

Congress needs to pass the DISCLOSE Act to ensure that when corporations and labor unions decide to spend unlimited amounts of money on electioneering communications like television ads, they can’t hide their spending behind shadow organizations.

As voters, we have a right to know who is paying for our elections.”