Senators Murkowski and Wyden Unveil “Follow the Money” Reform Bill

Senators Co-sponsor Legislation to Address Campaign Finance Abuses and Anonymous Spending

WASHINGTON – Senator Lisa Murkowski today joined her colleague Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) to introduce the first attempt at bipartisan campaign finance reform legislation in a decade: The Follow the Money Act of 2013.  In order to address the influx of anonymous federal election spending and bring transparency and consistency to campaign finance law, the bill creates a simple and universal system of disclosure for independent spending in federal campaigns. The legislation would require the source of independent spending to be disclosed in a manner consistent to that applied to federal candidates.

“This is a bill that is designed to be bipartisan, this is a bill that is designed to be even on both sides and transparent across the board,” said Murkowski at a Capitol Hill press conference earlier today.  “Our proposal improves the transparency of our campaigns by bringing this money out of the shadows if someone wants to be a major player in our political process.”

(Senators Murkowski, Wyden introduce “Follow the Money” bill – click image for an excerpt)

In addition to addressing the full spectrum of independent election spending, the Follow the Money Act would make a number of significant improvements to the overall campaign finance regulatory regime including:

  • Directing the FEC to establish a real-time reporting system for contributions not later than January 1, 2015 so that the public can “Follow the Money” going into both candidate campaigns and independent spending in real time rather than wait for quarterly reports;
  • Expanding existing “Stand By Your Ad” requirements currently applied to candidates to cover independent actors;
  • Increasing the threshold level at which candidates and political committees must disclose contributions on their Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports from $200 to $1,000.

A full summary of the Follow the Money Act can be found here.

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