With the Senate voting (53 to 45) to once again block the DISCLOSE Act (S. 3369), the Sunlight Foundation issued the following the statement.
Sunlight Foundation Co-founder and Executive Director Ellen Miller said:
"The Senate has missed a critical opportunity to reinforce that, in a democracy, sunlight on who funds our elections is critical to a system of fair and free elections. Instead, the Senate is taking this nation down a dark and gloomy path, which is antithetical to our nation's long historical and legal precedents about transparency for political funding. They are thumbing their noses at the very notion of democratic elections.
"The DISCLOSE Act was a simple piece of legislation that was a response to the current lack of transparency in new schemes of election financing. It required super PACs and 501(c) nonprofits making campaign expenditures of $10,000 or more to identify corporate, union or individuals donors who contributed $10,000 or more to the political activity.
"The bill's failure to pass shows willful ignorance, misinformation and disdain toward the role that transparency plays in ensuring democratic elections. The bill was an even-handed and constitutionally appropriate way to disclose the money that is behind the most negative and misleading ads being aired by outside, dark money groups.
"Our democracy suffers terribly in the wake of this vote. No longer will the American people know who is giving outside groups millions of dollars to buy our elections."
Our recent analysis estimates $127 million in undisclosed dark money so far this election (more than what was reported in 2010). Sunlight totaled $83 million from Crossroads GPS, $32 million from Americans for Prosperity and $12 million in what groups have reported to the FEC to get the figure.
The Sunlight Foundation is a non-partisan non-profit that uses cutting-edge technology and ideas to make government transparent and accountable. Visit http://SunlightFoundation.com to learn more about Sunlight’s projects, including http://PoliticalPartyTime.org and http://influenceexplorer.com.