If you’ve been following us with any frequency you know how IVA feels about the present realities in campaign finance and the dark influence of non-disclosed special interest money. This election cycle has seen a surge in the efforts of wealthy individuals, corporations and trade unions to influence the 2012 Presidential election. Collectively, they have spent more than $160 million so far this cycle, and the cycle is really just getting underway as we close in on November. For many, ourselves included, the most onerous aspect of this election cycle is how these same wealthy individuals, corporations and trade unions, and their attendant super PACs, are empowered to make unlimited independent expenditures without disclosing the origins of these enormous amounts of cash. The disclosure issue is a heated one, reference this week’s activity around the Disclose Act, and forces are marshaling on their respective sides to protect or defeat this non-disclosure smokescreen.
It was with great interest that we read a recent piece by Warren Rudman and Chuck Hagel in the New York Times that gets to the heart of this matter. Please read the full article, but here’s an excellent excerpt:
Without the transparency offered by the Disclose Act of 2012, we fear long-term consequences that will hurt our democracy profoundly. We’re already seeing too many of our former colleagues leaving public office because the partisanship has become stifling and toxic. If campaigning for office continues to be so heavily affected by anonymous out-of-district influences running negative advertising, we fear even more incumbents will decline to run and many of our most capable potential leaders will shy away from elective office.
No thinking person can deny that the current situation is unacceptable and intolerable. We urge all senators to engage in a bipartisan effort to enact this critically needed legislation. The Disclose Act of 2012 is a prudent and important first step in restoring some sanity to our democratic process.
We share their concern and agree that the influence of anonymous money is untenable. What do you think?