Summary: S.3295 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.3295. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (04/30/2010)

Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections Act or the DISCLOSE Act - Amends the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (FECA) to prohibit: (1) independent expenditures and payments for electioneering communications by government contractors if the value of the contract is at least $50,000; and (2) recipients of assistance under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) from making any contribution to any political party, committee, or candidate for public office, or to any person for any political purpose or use, or from making any independent expenditure or disbursing any funds for an electioneering communication.

Applies the ban on contributions and expenditures by foreign nationals to foreign-controlled domestic corporations.

Treats as contributions: (1) any payments by any person (except a candidate, a candidate's authorized committee, or a political committee of a political party) for coordinated communications; and (2) political party communications made on behalf of candidates if made under the control or direction of a candidate or a candidate's authorized committee.

Revises the definition of independent expenditure to mean, in part, an expenditure that, when taken as a whole, expressly advocates the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or is the functional equivalent of express advocacy.

Requires any person making independent expenditures exceeding $10,000 to file a report within 24 hours.

Increases the period before a general election during which a communication shall be considered an electioneering communication.

Requires corporations, labor organizations, and other covered organizations to include specified additional information in reports on independent expenditures of at least $10,000.

Sets forth special rules for the use of general treasury funds by covered organizations for campaign-related activity.

Authorizes covered organizations to make optional use of a separate Campaign-Related Activity Account for making disbursements for campaign-related activity.

Prescribes additional information to be included in certain radio or television communications by persons (including significant funders of campaign-related communications of a covered organization) other than a candidate, a candidate's authorized committee, or a political committee of a political party.

Amends the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 to require registered lobbyists to report information on independent expenditures or electioneering communications of at least $1,000 to the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives.

Amends FECA to require Senate candidates to file all designations, statements, and reports with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), instead of the Secretary of the Senate, as under current law.

Requires certain covered organizations to disclose to shareholders, members, or donors information on disbursements for campaign-related activity.

Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to: (1) extend the equal opportunities requirement and censorship prohibition applicable to candidates for public office to national committees of political parties; (2) grant political parties reasonable access to purchase broadcasting time at the lowest unit charged; (3) limit to the lowest unit charge the charges for the use during certain periods before an election of any broadcasting station by any person who is a legally qualified candidate for any federal office; and (4) require covered organizations to notify the FEC and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) when aggregate disbursements first equal or exceed $50,000.

Directs the FCC to conduct random audits of designated market areas to ensure that broadcasting stations are allocating broadcasting time for legally qualified candidates for federal office in accordance with this Act.

Authorizes judicial review of the provisions of this Act.