01.26.15

Peters Sponsors Measures to Improve Transparency and Reform Campaign Finance System

WASHINGTON, DC – Following the 5th anniversary of the Citizens United v. FEC decision last week, U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) cosponsored two measures to repair the broken campaign finance system and increase openness and transparency in government.

Peters cosponsored a constitutional amendment to ensure that every American has a voice in our political system by giving Congress the authority to regulate campaign finance laws, including the authority to set reasonable limits on money raised and spent in federal elections and allow states to regulate campaign spending at their level. The Democracy for All Amendment would reverse the misguided Supreme Court decisions in cases like Citizens United v. FEC and McCutcheon v. FEC, which have led to an unprecedented increase in contributions and spending in state and federal elections.

“The right of every American to participate in our elections should not be dependent on their net worth,” said Peters. “This amendment will ensure that corporations and billionaire donors can never drown out the voices of Americans who do not have limitless funds to spend on elections.”

According to data from Open Secrets, more than $800 million was spent by outside groups in federal races in 2014. Michigan’s recent 2014 Senate race was the most expensive in the state’s history, with more than $29 million spent by outside groups. In the 2014 Michigan Governor’s race, outside groups spent more than $39 million according to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.

Peters also cosponsored the Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act, which will promote increased transparency in government and improve disclosure requirements for money spent on elections.

“Michiganders deserve to know who is behind the money being spent in our state’s elections and what their agenda is. This measure is an important step toward improving transparency and restoring trust in our government and electoral system,” said Peters.

The DISCLOSE Act would require any covered organization, including corporations and “super PACs,” that spends $10,000 or more on election advertising to disclose their donors with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) within 24 hours, and to file a new report for each additional $10,000 or more that is spent.

###