Donor disclosure rules are the same for everyone

While liberal groups criticize the ability to spend unlimited amounts on political education campaigns without disclosure of funding, the rules apply to everyone, and liberal groups and unions use them, too.

A report on OpenSecrets.org reads “But Patriot Majority’s backers are now as inscrutably invisible as those giving to any of the more numerous and well-known groups on the right.”

In its reporting on Patriot Majority, Bloomberg wrote “Like Koch-backed groups including Americans for Prosperity and the 60 Plus Association, Patriot Majority is organized as a nonprofit, so it doesn’t disclose its donors and has limits on how much of its budget can be devoted to political activities. … Varoga wouldn’t disclose the nonprofit’s donors or say how much money it plans to spend this year.”

A partial solution is to allow unlimited donations directly to candidate campaigns. Then, candidates are responsible for what is being said about them and their opponents. The current situation, where donation limits to campaigns are relatively low, has lead to the rise of independent efforts to aid candidates. It is these efforts that are often the most harshly negative, or even factually incorrect. But since the advertisements are from third parties, the candidate can dodge responsibility.

Political contributions and political education campaigns are a form of speech. In order to exercise their right to free speech, must people consent to be identified? Of course, no one is required to listen.

In the end, the best solution is government — at all levels — without the power to dispense favors and punishment, thereby eliminating the reason why many political contributions are made. A government without this power is likely to be a limited government, run on principle rather than opportunism.

1 Comment

  • I would like to call it the “Weasel Factor”. Politicians are to disclose the Donors yet pass a law that if the Donor will contribute in this manner disclosure is mute. Money molds the law, how many poor and elderly does this represent?

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