WASHINGTON – Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the first attempt at bipartisan campaign finance reform legislation in a decade: The Follow the Money Act of 2013.
The bill seeks to address the influx of anonymous federal election spending and bring transparency and consistency to campaign finance law. Murkowski said it creates a simple and universal system of disclosure for independent spending in federal campaigns. The legislation would require the source of independent spending to be disclosed in a manner consistent to that applied to federal candidates.
“This is a bill that is designed to be partisan, this is a bill that is designed to be even on both sides and transparent across the board,” said Murkowski at a Capitol Hill press conference Tuesday. “Our proposal improves the transparency of our campaigns by bringing this money out of the shadows if someone wants to be a major player in our political process.”
In addition to addressing the full spectrum of independent election spending, the Follow the Money Act would overhaul the campaign finance regulatory regime including:
• Directing the FEC to establish a real-time reporting system for contributions not later than January 1, 2015 so that the public can “Follow the Money” going into both candidate campaigns and independent spending in real time rather than wait for quarterly reports;
• Expanding existing “Stand By Your Ad” requirements currently applied to candidates to cover independent actors;
• Increasing the threshold level at which candidates and political committees must disclose contributions on their Federal Election Commission reports from $200 to $1,000.
Following legislative passage of Senate Bill 21 just more than a week ago, Gov. Sean Parnell welcomed the news that Repsol found oil in three test wells drilled this winter.
According to an information release from the governor’s office, Repsol cited recent tax reform in Alaska as a “critical factor in ensuring the development of this project, where extreme climate conditions and geographical remoteness result in high operating costs.”
“This is welcome news for Alaskans’ future,” Governor Parnell said. “We have always maintained that our below-ground resources are world class, and these discoveries underscore that. We now have a competitive tax structure that ensures Alaskans are able to reap the benefits of their oil. Today’s announcement is another promising step toward creating an Alaska oil comeback.”
The announcement from Repsol can be found here: http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell_media/resources_files/repsol042313.pdf
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