House Democrats Thursday reintroduced the DISCLOSE Act (HR 4010), which would impose new reporting requirements on Super PACs.
Those are the PACS that have poured millions into the presidential campaign and which have proliferated since the Supreme Court ruled in the Citizens United case that corporations and unions could directly fund ads advocating the election or defeat of federal candidates.
The first version of the DISCLOSE Act, introduced shortly after the September 2010 court decision, failed to gain traction, but Dems are trying again.
Like the first bill, this version would require TV ads to identify the actual funders, rather than simply the PAC name, and would require individual funders or the CEOs of corporations, to appear onscreen, as candidates have to do at the end of campaign ads.
Lobbyists will also be required to report their spending on independent expenditures and electioneering communications.
Broadcasters have First Amendment concerns with such legislation, as well as concerns it could depress political ad spending.
Bill backer Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) produced a YouTube video poking fun at Stephen Colbert's Super PAC, which itself pokes fun at Super PACS, to make the point about the need for reporting requirements.
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