All the federal "DISCLOSE Act" had to do was live up to its name. Members of Congress should refashion this doomed legislation into a simple campaign spending bill that lets the public know who is trying to influence their elections.

The bill had serious limitations even before Democrats in the House of Representatives made a stupid deal giving the National Rifle Association a special exemption from the rules. Still, Congress needs to craft a response to the highly controversial Citizens United decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in January. The court ruled that corporations and unions have the same free speech rights as individuals.

Now that all have a right to speak, all have a right to know exactly who it is that's speaking.

A rewritten DISCLOSE Act should require that all organizations, from the richest corporations to the smallest nonprofits, reveal their connection to a candidate or an issue. Additionally, interest groups - the ones with the opaque names that seem to spontaneously appear during elections - would have to identify the top contributors bankrolling their efforts.

The new bill should drop the prior one's ban on spending by companies with federal contracts. Nor, in a global economy, should it bar spending by any company more than 20 percent foreign-owned. Each is an invitation to more litigation.

American voters are smart enough to connect the dots. Congress should demand disclosure, and call it a day. hN

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