We have just come through an election where huge amounts of secret contributions were spent in the congressional races. We cannot go through another national election with this sure-fire formula for influence-buying corruption.
Our organizations are calling on the Senate to schedule and pass the disclosure provisions of the DISCLOSE Act.
There is no question that citizens overwhelmingly support disclosure of these secret donors. Polls of the American people make this very clear.
Similarly there is widespread editorial support throughout the country for new disclosure requirements. Democracy 21 is today releasing excerpts from dozens of examples of the nationwide editorial support that exists for passing the DISCLOSE Act.
During the last Senate vote on the DISCLOSE Act in September, the Act fell just one vote short of the 60 votes needed to bring the bill to the floor for Senate action.
Based on past performances, a number of Republican Senators knew better but still voted with their party to block disclosure of secret donors.
Senators Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, John McCain and Richard Lugar all voted for campaign finance disclosure requirements in 2000 and 2002 and voted to block disclosure in 2010.
Senator Scott Brown said when he got to the Senate in 2010 that for those who are interested in "bringing accountability and transparency back to our government, here I am." Well here he was but Senator Brown proceeded to vote against transparency in 2010.
No Senator was even willing to negotiate changes in the Act to address any concerns they might have.
If we end up with no new donor disclosure law being enacted, then each of these Senators will bear personal responsibility for the influence-buying corruption that is bound to follow – as will their Senate colleagues who voted to block disclosure.
The corruption will be on their hands.