Ald. Michael Murphy
Press Release

Candidates should make position known on Disclose Act

American politics today is bursting at the seams with money, and most of it is donated anonymously. That lack of transparency is troubling to Alderman Michael J. Murphy and to members of the Common Council.

By - Aug 17th, 2012 01:15 pm

American politics today is bursting at the seams with money, and most of it is donated anonymously. That lack of transparency is troubling to Alderman Michael J. Murphy and to members of the Common Council.

In fact, last month the Common Council voted 14-0 to adopt file# 120499, which supports passage of the federal Disclose Act and encourages passage of legislation promoting transparency in spending in elections. Today, Alderman Murphy sent a letter (see attached sample) to U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin and former Governor Tommy Thompson (facing each other for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Herb Kohl) as well as Republican vice presidential presumptive nominee U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, urging them to disclose publicly whether they are in support of the Disclose Act, and urging their support for the measure.

“In my opinion, without a way for people to know who is spending millions of dollars to support candidates for office, our system of government becomes much less of a government for the people, and by the people,” Alderman Murphy said. “We have a strong tradition in Wisconsin of disclosure and transparency, and residents here want to know who candidates are counting on for their financial support during the run up to an election.”

Alderman Murphy said he is hopeful the candidates will state publicly whether they are in support of the Disclose Act. “Governor Thompson has been a strong supporter of open government, as has Tammy Baldwin (a co-sponsor of the version of the bill in the House of Representatives). I would sincerely hope that Paul Ryan also believes in transparency and disclosure, traditions that have made our state a respected leader in open government,” he said.

The 2012 version of the Disclose Act requires all groups spending more than $10,000 on election-related advertising to name donors who gave $10,000 or more, and broadcast ads also would have to list the top funders of the groups running the ads.

Alderman Murphy said the Citizens United decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010 (allowing corporations to make independent political expenditures) opened the door for billionaires to “have a powerful hand in greatly affecting the outcome of elections in the U.S.”

“At the very least, we should require groups spending millions on political attack ads to disclose their largest donors. That way voters can judge for themselves the attacks and the motivations behind them,” he said.

Recent Press Releases by Ald. Michael Murphy

Final report released by Heroin, Opioid and Cocaine Task Force

News release and report from Alderman Michael J. Murphy

Food grading system decision ignores wishes of Milwaukee consumers, business owners

Statement of Alderman Michael J. Murphy - November 29, 2018

Businesses and officials: Keep Milwaukee’s popular food grading system

State board poised to eliminate popular grading system for food establishments; news conference set for Monday

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us