- Associated Press - Friday, September 12, 2014

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - U.S. Sen. Mark Begich on Friday proposed changes to federal campaign finance laws, including requiring the top three contributors to candidates or third-party groups be identified in ads.

In laying out his plans to address the issue if re-elected, Begich also proposed that all candidates electronically file and post their Federal Election Commission fundraising reports as a way to provide timelier public access to them. He called for contribution limits and said he would continue to support a constitutional amendment - similar to one that failed in the Senate on Thursday - that would allow Congress and the states to better regulate election spending.

Begich’s GOP rival, Dan Sullivan, has called on Begich to sign an agreement with him, aimed at limiting outside money in their race. The idea was to ask special interest groups to stop TV and radio ads that support or attack their campaigns. If they didn’t stop, the candidate benefiting from the ads would have to contribute half the amount of the ad buy to a charity his opponent chooses.

Millions of dollars have already been spent by outside groups in the race, which could help decide control of the U.S. Senate, and millions more are planned leading to the November election.

Sullivan first proposed the agreement in June, before he was the Republican nominee. Begich’s refusal to sign it “once again shows that he sides with Washington special interests over Alaskans, and that he will do or say anything to get re-elected,” Sullivan spokesman Mike Anderson said by email.

Begich said he has signed a separate agreement by We the People Alaska, striking at the idea of corporate personhood. He said the legislation he’s proposing is in line with that.

“If you sign these agreements, then you must support legislation to do that because he’s running for United States Senate,” Begich said. “And if he’s not willing to support the legislation that backs up what he wants to do, then the … paper he’s signing is worthless.”

He said Sullivan’s support of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed for unlimited spending by unions and corporations in political races is “so contrary” to the pledge Sullivan has been pushing.

Anderson said Sullivan’s proposal “is consequential and binding.”

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