Letter to the Editor

Adopting DISCLOSE would put voters first

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

To the Editor:

Since its founding in 1956, the Greencastle League of Women Voters has worked with the LWVUS to protect the right of all citizens to vote, and encouraged all to be informed about candidates and issues. We are a non-partisan organization promoting an open governmental system that is representative, accountable and responsive.

However, we are concerned that with the Citizens' United decision, campaign financing in our nation is corrupting our political system with secret money from special interests and large outside funders.

We are asking all readers who share our concerns about secret money to send a message to our senators that they need to clean up our political system. Already in this election cycle we have seen a slew of money from secret donors, corporations, labor unions and special interests.

If Congress does not act to clean up our election finance system, 2012 will be known as the year of the Super PAC, and voters will be deprived of the information they need to make informed decisions in this election. Voters need to be put back in control of the election process.

Congress can act to close the floodgates against secret big-money special interests in our elections. The DISCLOSE Act of 2012 is moving in the Senate and it would require full transparency and let the sunlight in. The DISCLOSE Act is the key that will allow voters to make their own decisions and shine the light on big-money outside spending in this election.

The DISCLOSE 2012 Act is carefully crafted to require disclosure by outside groups of large campaign contributions and expenditures -- those over $10,000 -- and includes valuable "stand-by-your-ad" provisions for ads run by such groups. It requires outside groups to certify that their spending is not coordinated with candidates and, very importantly, covers transfers of money among groups so that the actual sources of funds being spent to influence federal elections will be known.

Most importantly, it would give voters the information they need to judge for themselves about the advertising and the candidates. Please send a message to your senators and tell them to put voters first.

Sen. Dan Coats can be reached at 202-224-5623 and Sen. Richard Lugar at 202-224-4814.

Also any claims made by Super PACS or candidates can be checked at the Annenberg Foundation site at www./FactCheck.org.

"Postmodern, fact-free politics" is a disservice to us all and the corruption of a free nation.

Board of Directors

Greencastle League of Women Voters