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Congressman Capuano's
An update from the office of U.S. Representative Michael E. Capuano
8th Congressional District of Massachusetts
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June 25, 2010


This week the House considered H.R. 5175: the Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act. This legislation is a response to the Supreme Court's January ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission when the court ruled that corporations should be treated as individuals for the purposes of free speech. This means that corporations can use their general treasury funds on political activity. H.R. 5175 increases transparency by requiring corporations, labor unions and other organizations to report what they are spending on an election. It also requires the highest-ranking official of a sponsoring organization to appear in its political ads and approve the message being disseminated on television or radio, just as candidates are required to appear in their ads and approve their messages. This too will increase transparency and give voters more information so that they may make informed decisions.  This legislation also prohibits large government contractors from spending money on campaigns and prohibits corporations controlled by foreign entities from making political expenditures.

You may recall that in January I introduced the Shareholder Protection Act, which would require a shareholder vote before corporate treasury funds are spent on campaigns. I tried to get this measure attached to H.R. 5175 but was not successful. I will continue working to advance my legislation because I believe that shareholders should be able to exercise their free speech rights by voting on the use of corporate treasury funds. I voted YES on H.R. 5175. The legislation passed and the entire vote is recorded below:





















General McChrystal

This week President Obama replaced General McChrystal with General Petraeus as commander of our mission in Afghanistan in the wake of disparaging comments McChrystal and his aides made in a magazine article. I think the President made the right decision. He acted quickly and effectively to address a very difficult situation, always keeping the well being of our men and women in uniform in mind. I was disappointed, however, that the President used this personnel change as an opportunity to reaffirm the fact that the plan in Afghanistan remains the same. I did not support the decision to send additional troops to the region. It is time to end this war and start bringing our brave troops home, not send more personnel into combat. They, and their families, have sacrificed so much for us and they have been effective in their service. I have long believed we should change course in Afghanistan.


This week I joined fellow Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern, and other House colleagues in sending Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a letter calling attention to ongoing human and political rights violations in Honduras. Monday, June 28th, marks the one year anniversary of a presidential coup in Honduras that sparked political violence and unrest around the country. Despite some progress, there has been continued violence perpetrated against Honduran citizens thought to pose a political threat. In just this past year, nine journalists were reported murdered and many more kidnapped, tortured, or threatened.  The letter asks that this political intimidation and violence be addressed if the United States is to continue its support for President Lobo and the new Honduran government. The letter specifically calls upon Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Michael Posner to visit Honduras and promptly assess occurrences of human rights violations. I know many of my constituents are concerned with the state of democracy in Honduras. It is my hope that, with this letter, we can help focus attention on the need for stability and the observance of human rights.

Project Place

On Monday I had the opportunity to speak at Project Place's annual meeting and Partners-at-Work Awards. Project Place was founded in 1967 as a haven for runaway teenagers, and now helps over 800 individuals per year overcome homelessness and other difficulties. Project Place provides many important resources such as job training and housing. I appreciated the opportunity to attend their annual meeting and to talk with so many dedicated individuals. Project Place does great work in the community.

What's Up Next Week

Next week the House is expected to consider the conference report on the financial regulatory reform bill.

Congressman Mike Capuano
8th District, Massachusetts
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee on Financial Services
Committee on House Administration

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