H.R.5175 - DISCLOSE Act

To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to prohibit foreign influence in Federal elections, to prohibit government contractors from making expenditures with respect to such elections, and to establish additional disclosure requirements with respect to spending in such elections, and for other purposes. view all titles (9)

All Bill Titles

  • Official: To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to prohibit foreign influence in Federal elections, to prohibit government contractors from making expenditures with respect to such elections, and to establish additional disclosure requirements with respect to spending in such elections, and for other purposes. as introduced.
  • Popular: Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act as introduced.
  • Popular: DISCLOSE Act as introduced.
  • Short: Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act as introduced.
  • Short: DISCLOSE Act as introduced.
  • Short: Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act as reported to house.
  • Short: DISCLOSE Act as reported to house.
  • Short: Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act as passed house.
  • Short: DISCLOSE Act as passed house.

Comments Feed

Displaying 1-30 of 51 total comments.

erinc 11/22/2010 4:13am

This bill is about knowing who’s bought off your senators & representatives on what issues. Monetary influence on elections is the opposite of democracy, guys. It’s the voice of the rich, not the voice of the people. I’m downright shocked that this bill is so unpopular on this site. Are you really OK with a few wealthy executives making the decisions that impact your life? You know the strip-search body scanning machines that many Americans find pretty violating? Wouldn’t you like to know if the manufacturers of those machines are donating millions to your representatives? Too bad, you really can’t, if they’re using an intermediary organization such as the US Chamber of Commerce. And even direct funding is completely legal. They’re paying off government officials to make it mandatory for airports to buy their equipment. I think that’s crazy, & I can’t understand why many of my countrymen don’t.

Greenlander 09/22/2010 2:33pm
in reply to ryandsmith Jul 28, 2010 9:43am

In what way could that be trouble?

Greenlander 09/22/2010 2:30pm
in reply to ElizabethPC Jun 26, 2010 7:03am

He probably changed his mind one way or the other after some amendments were added – probably the one that exempts the NRA.

Greenlander 09/22/2010 2:28pm
in reply to tumbleweed Jun 22, 2010 6:50pm

Yeah, they say they’re trying to provide transparency to political elections, but they’re really just trying to take your guns. You’re right.

ianiam 08/26/2010 6:19am

Hmm…Where in the constitution…..

Marydouglas76 08/23/2010 9:17pm

The key to the issue is: is a for-profit entity a person? Is a for-profit entity entitled to protections under the constitution? Can a for-profit entity speak? That is what was so bad about the citizens ruling: entities are not people. Corporate speech comes out in the form of $$$$ to pay elected officials to do their bidding. Do our elected officials work for us, or them. When they work for us, we get laws that protect us from harm- usually from them. When they work for them, they get laws that are like Swiss cheese, full of loop holes so they don’t have to pay taxes or face regulation or pay for messes they make or create jobs that pay a living wage in our country….. Really, I could go on all day. If a for-profit entity can now buy commercials the run against a candidate who will make laws for us, or for a candidate who will make laws for them, then we lose both ways. It’s a pretty simple concept.

amfriedman 08/22/2010 2:02pm
in reply to WhiteWolf1957 Jul 31, 2010 6:04pm

By that token, why should the government stick their nose in the business of private food manufacturers and require them to label their products with information about their nutritional content (or lack thereof)? I’ll tell you why: because the government is protecting consumers and citizens from the selfish actions of powerful private interests. This is precisely where they ought to step in and require entities to be honest about who they are and what they are supporting in the political arena. Otherwise we are going to see slick, deceptive ads brainwashing Americans into fighting against policies that protect our health, our wages, and our basic rights!

blubugeye 08/21/2010 7:09am
in reply to kenthwing Jun 16, 2010 2:36pm

Does freedom of speech imply the right to anonymity while speaking?

fry3113 08/06/2010 5:55am
in reply to votedemint Jun 03, 2010 4:27am

this is not true

mwilbur137 08/03/2010 11:45am
in reply to LibertyPl0x Jun 24, 2010 7:16pm

…because civilization didn’t exist before capitalism. Nobody ever invented any new technologies, discovered any medicines, or did ANYTHING remotely beneficial without money as the primary motivator for the first 52,000 years of human existence?

WhiteWolf1957 07/31/2010 6:04pm

This is just another excuse for the government to stick their nose into the business of private citizens and private companies. Why don’t they try spending within their means like the rest of us? As to amendments to any bill…they only force railroading a bill to a positive vote. THAT’S BS!!! No more amendments!!!

peacefrog 07/31/2010 3:18pm
in reply to mike3 Jun 24, 2010 10:48pm

(See my comment below.)

peacefrog 07/31/2010 3:09pm
in reply to mike3 Jun 24, 2010 10:50pm

Would the power-brokers allow a bill to be written and passed which limited their own free speech, their own rights to privacy and which forced themselves to act with full disclosure? Would they then enforce it on themselves?

A bill like the Disclose Act doesn’t address the real problem, which is that the government itself is too big and too powerful, such power breeds corruption. In fact this bill would make that problem worse by granting government more power to intimidate smaller entities. Government has basically become a massive corporation itself, which acts as the enforcement arm for mega-banks and big businesses which seek a monopoly on all fronts, especially speech and political influence. The bottom line: any bill that undermines the peoples’ rights to free speech and privacy will always hurt individuals and small organizations the most.

ryandsmith 07/28/2010 9:43am

I don`t think this bill is going to be a good idea overall. It is clearly limiting free speech. The biggest problem is making groups fully disclose who their donors are. That could be real trouble.

soitgoes12 07/26/2010 4:12pm

This Bill has been altered in the Senate version to make sure Unions are included… for what it’s worth.

soitgoes12 07/26/2010 4:11pm
Link Reply
+ -1

I love how the Republicans were ridiculing Obama for not being more transparent in the Health Care Debate… Even though the majority of it was broadcast on C Span… and now they claim this is restricting free speech. How so? The speech is still allowed… It just forces people to claim it. I don’t see anything wrong with that. If you really want a Democracy, we need transparency in government and we need to separate money from our Representatives. Corporations should not be treated the same as people, because they are not punished the same as people. They are not taxed the same as people. This Bill is a good first start, even though the Republicans are doing their best to water it down.

amfriedman 07/26/2010 3:16pm
in reply to Lainie59 Jul 13, 2010 10:34am

“This bill exempts UNIONS from the rules it makes for corporations…”

Again, where in the bill does it exempt unions from anything?

And please read my comment on the huge $$$ difference between corporations and unions above, see: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h5175/show?goto_comment=207874.

We need to keep the correct perspective of who really has the power in this country.

amfriedman 07/26/2010 3:13pm
in reply to Foggy Jun 17, 2010 6:35am

Fascism (Wikipedia):
Fascism, pronounced /ˈfæʃɪzəm/, is a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology.1234 Fascists seek to organize a nation according to corporatist perspectives, values, and systems, including the political system and the economy.56 Fascism was originally founded by Italian national syndicalists in World War I who combined left-wing and right-wing political views, but it gravitated to the political right in the early 1920s.78 Scholars generally consider fascism to be on the far right of the conventional left-right political spectrum.91011121314 Fascists believe that a nation is an organic community that requires strong leadership, singular collective identity, and the will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong.15

amfriedman 07/26/2010 2:55pm
in reply to Peter510 Jul 12, 2010 2:22pm

Can someone please cite the part of the bill that says unions are exempt from disclosing? I did a word search for “union” and it only came up once, where the bill put them in the same category as corporations, that they can now open floodgates of cash on our elections.

Also, let’s get our numbers straight: $45 billion versus $300 million. Which is bigger? How much bigger?

Exxon-Mobil made $45 BILLION in clear-cut PROFIT in 2008. In contrast, the AFL-CIO, our largest union, only took in about $300 million in GROSS REVENUE from their membership dues. So, one of our biggest corporations is at least 135 times more powerful than one of our largest unions.

You guys cheering for what you think is “free speech” is really showing you up as unknowing mouthpieces for an unbelievably powerful entrenchment in our midst. They’ve been running the show for decades, and here you are helping them crystallize their position of supremacy in our government.

amfriedman 07/26/2010 2:45pm
in reply to pramsey Jun 28, 2010 7:37am

Wait – how does transparency contradict freedom of speech? Why not be open about who we are and what we support? The shadiest stuff in politics occurs in secret. You’d have to be quite naive to think otherwise.

In this spirit, the DISCLOSE Act is a fine bill that all patriotic Americans should support. Although I don’t see why we should give big organizations any exemption, on the whole this is a good step forward.

amfriedman 07/26/2010 2:37pm
in reply to pramsey Jun 28, 2010 7:37am

Wait – how does transparency contradict freedom of speech? Why not be open about who we are and what we support? The shadiest stuff in politics occurs in secret. You’d have to be quite naive to think otherwise.

In this spirit, the DISCLOSE Act is a fine bill that all patriotic Americans should support. Although I don’t see why we should give big organizations any exemption, on the whole this is a good step forward.

MTeinert 07/13/2010 9:22pm
in reply to Lainie59 Jul 13, 2010 10:40am

I would rather see this information after an ad so I know right then and there where it’s coming from and I think everyone else should too. Besides this Federal Elections Center doesn’t have the information that I deserve to know and why lie to people that can only find the truth by doing the research anyway? Most people will believe the smoke being blown up their ass and not do the research needed to expose the truth. Voting against this bill is basically just trying to hide the truth that the people of this country should have the right to know. How is that against the 2nd amendment? When I hear senators say that it just makes me laugh.

Lainie59 07/13/2010 10:40am
in reply to MTeinert Jun 30, 2010 12:48am

You can access the Federal Elections Center and get information on who contributes to political candidates.

Lainie59 07/13/2010 10:34am
Link Reply
+ -2

I oppose this bill because it is an attempt by Democrats to get around the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows corporate campaign contributions. This bill exempts UNIONS from the rules it makes for corporations and thus is discriminatory and clearly a partisan attempt to silence those opposed to the Democrats agenda.

Peter510 07/12/2010 2:22pm
in reply to condor4120 Jun 07, 2010 10:19am

You need to take a course in economics. Totally unregulated Capitalism is not healthy but we have not had a true unregulated free market in a long, long time. But your statement has nothing to do with this particular legislation which is a sweetheart deal for the Unions, allowing them to mask their political contributions but forcing businesses to disclose their contributions. Businesses have the right and expectation of representation as they also pay taxes, or did you forget that? They are the major drivers of our economy and should have a right to help select the leaders of our country. If you want political contributions disclosed then EVERYONE, businesses, UNIONS, the NRA, all special interests should have to. No one should be excused from the requirement.

crispusattucks 07/07/2010 2:43am

I oppose this bill. If fairness is what the Congress is after, why make special exemptions for unions?

MTeinert 06/30/2010 12:48am
I support this bill because it stops all of the corruption of foreign influence of companies like bp in our own elections and also creates transparency of the actual candidates that are being elected. Knowing who is supporting someones campaign should be the right of the potential voters.
pramsey 06/29/2010 6:48am
in reply to ElizabethPC Jun 26, 2010 7:03am

Be careful how you interpet the information. I had a similar reaction to the courtney vote record. He told me he voted for the bill, then I saw that he had voted against it in the voting records. What actually happened was he voted against an AMMENDMENT TO the bill, NOT the bill itself. You may be looking at an ammendment vote, and the bill vote seperately, thinking that they are the same thing.

pramsey 06/28/2010 7:37am
Link Reply
+ -1

J. Courtney voted yes on this bill. He responded to my e-mail urging him to vote no. In his response to me he stated that although the bill is not perfect the policy of disclosure (read transparency?) is to important to vote no. In saying this he has clearly, in my book, put transparency (look how much that has helped so far) is more important than the freedom of speech provided by the Constitution! CT, vote now on Courtney next election!

ElizabethPC 06/26/2010 7:03am

QUESTION: It seems that (at least two) representatives have voted both yay and nay on this bill? How can that be?
In the roll call voting list provided by OpenCongress.org, it shows, for example, that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) voted both yay and nay!

Is it just a typo? Or is something “fishy” going on here? How can we find out the truth?


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