Merkley: Democracy has No Place for Secret Contributions from Corporations and Foreign Interests

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement Thursday after Senate Republicans blocked a vote on the DISCLOSE Act:

“The Citizens United decision is a dagger pointed at the heart of democracy.  As a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling, massive secret campaign contributions from corporations and foreign companies are jeopardizing the integrity of the American electoral system.

“If the essence of the First Amendment is that competing voices should be heard in the marketplace of ideas, the Citizens United decision just gave the largest corporations a stadium sound system they can use to drown out the voice of American citizens.

“The DISCLOSE Act would let the American people know who is behind the ads they see on television so they can decide for themselves what to believe.  There’s no place in democracy for secret expenditures by special interests or foreign interests to buy our elections.

“Due to the rules of the Senate, Republicans were able to force a supermajority of 60 votes for the bill to move forward today.  Not a single Republican stood up to defend the core genius of our Democracy: a government of, by, and for the people.  This is a profound disappointment and extremely dangerous to our nation.”