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.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.