UPDATE: On Tuesday afternoon, the Senate once again voted to not proceed on the DISCLOSE Act. The tally was 53 to 45. Read Sunlight’s statement.
Despite talking the talk for years that disclosure was the answer to every campaign finance question, that transparency was an area in which the parties could both agree, Republicans in the Senate yesterday showed their true colors and voted down the DISCLOSE Act, a simple transparency bill that would uncover the secret, dark money behind the avalanche of campaign ads pummeling voters this election season.
The bill has the support of the public behind it. Many of you called your Senate offices, sent letters to the editors of your papers, or signed petitions in support of disclosure. Thank you for your support. A majority of Senators (all Democrats) also supported the bill, but a Republican filibuster doomed its chances. Even “maverick” champions of campaign finance like John McCain, “moderate” voices like Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins and Scott Brown, and members with nothing to lose by doing the right thing, like Dick Lugar, followed the lead of Mitch McConnell and voted no on the bill. Each one of the members I mentioned has been a vocal supporter of transparency of money in politics in the past, as you can see on this short video Sunlight put together.
Senate Leaders have decided to bring the bill up for a vote one more time, probably around 3:00 this afternoon. The goal of 60 votes remains elusive, but there is still time to try to sway some votes, so if you haven’t already done so, make your voice heard—especially if you are represented by a Republican senator. Whatever happens this afternoon, Sunlight won’t give up the fight to shine a light on dark money. Our democracy is too important to be sold to the highest anonymous bidder.