2013 Democracy Legislative Preview

Stop Secret Elections Spending

Last November’s federal election was the most expensive in our nation’s history.  Why?  One big reason is the rise of the Super PACs, made possible by recent misguided U.S. Supreme Court decisions, including Citizens United.  Even in Vermont, a Super PAC–funded almost entirely by a single individual–spent over $1 million to elect or defeat state candidates this year.

That’s why VPIRG is calling for reform now.  It’s not right that one extremely wealthy person or corporation can bankroll candidates in ways that would have been illegal – and with good reason – until recently.

Until we can amend the U.S. Constitution to stop the Super PAC spending, the public should know which fat cats are behind the cash flooding Vermont’s elections.  We’re proposing the following key reforms:
1)    Requiring Super PACs to disclose within 24 hours the details of all contributions they receive in the closing days of an election,
2)    Requiring Super PACS to prominently list their top contributors in all mass media communications, and
3)    Forcing individual donors to appear in ads paid for by Super PACs, if they are responsible for more than half of the funds raised by that Super PAC.

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