Buoyed by the Citizens United ruling, Independent Expenditure groups have enjoyed an outsized influence on our politics in recent years. While we cannot stop the flood of money, I agree there is more we must do to increase transparency and disclosure surrounding the activities of these outside groups.
The I.E. groups cannot be fronts for coordinated efforts of candidates. They are required to be independent and we should do everything possible to ensure that.
Campaign and election reform is a key component of ethics reform. Therefore, we welcome the opportunity to review and discuss the Governor’s proposal as part of our effort to arrive at a comprehensive reform package that rebuilds the public trust, and includes action on issues previously raised by members of the Senate Republican Conference.
Among those are proposals to bolster our money laundering laws, move more aggressively against straw donors and stop non-profits who flout transparency and donate unlimited sums to directly support a politician’s agenda. In addition, we should endeavor to provide more frequent and more timely disclosure, and insist on strict enforcement of the laws already on the books.
I also believe it’s essential we enact a strong pension forfeiture measure that penalizes public officials convicted of a felony in relation to their public duties, and puts in place term limits for legislative leaders. The public wants and deserves real reforms which restore their faith in government, and we must work toward that goal in the remaining days of the legislative session.