Reorienting Disclosure Debates in a Post-Citizens United World

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Disclosure is often an afterthought in debates about money in politics. Reformers have tended to take disclosure for granted, devoting little time to developing and refining the affirmative case for it. They have also tended to assume that the current disclosure regime is an effective one, at least as far as it goes. Reformers have devoted substantial attention to the holes in the current regime in the post-Citizens United era— so-called “dark” and “gray” money — and have considered ways to bring such activity into the light. Yet even if they are successful, such expansion efforts would only bring more dollars under the auspices of a disclosure regime in need of both stronger conceptual architecture and substantial practical improvements. So closing the gaps in the system is only one aspect of the task. This chapter surveys the doctrine, practice, and empirics of disclosure. It then offers a number of proposals for reforming the reach, quality, and impact of this mode of campaign finance regulation.


Campaign Finance, disclosure

Publication Title

Democracy by the People: Reforming Campaign Finance in America Today