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Increasing Disclosure Requirements for Political Donations

Greater Public Disclosure of Campaign-Related Donations - Briefing

Another idea for reducing or counterbalancing the influence of big donors is to require that donations to candidates and political causes be publicly disclosed or made more transparent.

While many forms of campaign-related donations and spending are required to be publicly disclosed, there are donations that can be made anonymously to certain organizations that can support candidates and political causes. Critics of this kind of giving call it ‘dark money’ because it is anonymous.

Until recently, the amount that could be donated to such organizations was limited, but with the U.S. Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision, these limits were removed as an interference with free speech. Since then, the amount of such anonymous donations has gone up dramatically.

There are a number of proposals for requiring that such donations be publicly disclosed. There is also a debate about whether there should be greater public disclosure of campaign-related donations.