Ending Secret Money in Politics

Chris believes that the rules of our election system must empower voters over special interests and large money donors. For that reason, Chris has worked tirelessly to lift the toxic cloud of secret special interest spending that has flooded our election process and weakens our democracy.

A series of Supreme Court decisions have opened the floodgates for big-money contributors, corporations, and political action committees to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections in our country – often without even disclosing their identities.

The outsized secret influence of these so-called “independent” groups is threatening the health of our democracy and hijacking political discourse in our country. It has made a mockery of federal campaign limits on donations to individual candidates by providing a gaping hole for massive unlimited expenditures by secret deep-pocketed donors and unaccountable groups.

Chris has led Congressional efforts to fight for meaningful reforms that help restore the voices of everyday voters in our elections. He supports amending the Constitution to reverse the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, has introduced the Empowering Citizens Act to reform the campaign finance system, and is a leading supporter of the Government By the People Act to increase the impact of small donations in campaigns.

But Chris is not content to wait until these efforts are achieved. He has worked tirelessly to pass measures now to address the impact of secret money.

Just months after the Citizens United decision, Chris introduced the DISCLOSE Act to allow Americans to know the identity of those big money groups and corporations who are attempting to influence their vote through campaign ads. With Chris’s leadership, the DISCLOSE Act passed the House, but was stopped by a Republican filibuster in the Senate. Chris reintroduced the DISCLOSE Act this Congress and will keeping fighting until it is passed into law.

Even as he has worked to advance legislation in Congress, Chris has also taken the fight to the courts, suing the Federal Elections Commission to force it to strengthen its disclosure requirements.

Chris wrote the ethics law requiring lobbyists to report contributions they bundle on behalf of candidates and is a leading supporter of the Redistricting Reform Act to end political gerrymandering of districts.

In this U.S. Senate campaign, Chris proposed the Free State Pledge, modeled after Elizabeth Warren’s People’s Pledge, to stop outside corporate interests from spending unlimited cash to try to influence Maryland voters. His opponent has refused to sign this Pledge.