Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, flanked by Sens. Charles Schumer, Al Franken and Jeff Merkley, speaks Thursday during the Senate Democrats' news conference on the DISCLOSE Act.
At the Senate press conference this week, Democrats displayed charts showing sharp growth in the percentage of outside political spending that goes undisclosed. Noting that politically active 501(c)(4) social welfare groups operate outside the campaign disclosure rules, Schumer singled out the conservative nonprofit Crossroads GPS for special criticism. The big-spending group is also the target of a recent Federal Election Commission complaint by President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.
“The group does not have to disclose a single one of its donors, many of whom are giving millions of dollars at a time,” Schumer said.
Whitehouse, though, acknowledged at the press conference that Democrats, too, are raising unrestricted money but said “it would be foolish for the Democratic Party to disarm unilaterally.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.