As he benefits from secret spending, will Dan Lungren stand up to his own words on disclosure?

Washington, D.C.—Campaign Money Watch today urged Rep. Dan Lungren to stand by previous statements on disclosure by demanding American Crossroads divulge the donors funding a new ad the organization is running in his district.

“In September, Rep. Lungren said at a Committee on House Administration hearing that all political spending should be disclosed, and now it’s time for him to stay true to his word,” said David Donnelly, director of Campaign Money Watch. “We know that Rep. Lungren has opposed legislation aimed at empowering everyday Americans, exploited loopholes that let lobbyists pay for a junket to Hawaii, and seeks earmarks only for his wealthy donors. But will he at least stick to his word on what he said just a few weeks ago?”

The Associated Press reported today that the controversial American Crossroads special interest group will launch an ad campaign this week to benefit Rep. Lungren’s re-election campaign. The advertising is part of a new $2 million ad buy launching this week benefitting eight Republican candidates for Congress. American Crossroads expects to raise and spend $65 million this election cycle, without disclosing any names of its donors.

When speaking at the House Administration Committee hearing on the Fair Elections Now Act on September 23, Rep. Lungren pointed to disclosure and transparency as a solution to the problems of big money in politics. “I would take the limits off individual contributions but make them reportable immediately, electronic reporting within 24 hours of receipt, so that everybody could know where you get the money,” he said. (While Rep. Lungren refers to "political committees" at the hearing, the question remains why the same principle shouldn't apply to political groups and why he voted against the DISCLOSE Act in the House to shed light on outside groups like American Crossroads.)

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The Fair Elections Now Act, which Rep. Lungren opposes, would allow candidates for Congress to run competitive campaigns for office by relying solely on small donations from people back home. If faced with outside attacks, Fair Elections candidates could rely on their broad base of grassroots support to respond. The legislation has the broad, bipartisan, and cross-caucus support of 165 U.S. House members. 

Lungren’s opponent, Dr. Ami Bera, has signed the Voters First Pledge endorsing Fair Elections-style legislation.

The Campaign Money Watch ad on his Hawaiian vacation and a report on his earmark requests is available at www.campaignmoneywatch.com/danlungren