The change came after the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United broke the final shackles on campaign spending. Republicans no longer needed to use the disclosure argument as a shield against calls to limit spending. That battle was won. So now they defend the secrecy, knowing that most of this money will go to them and that the message would be weakened if voters knew the sources.
How seriously would you take a claim that climate change is fiction if you knew the ads were funded by the oil industry? How about a call to repeal Dodd-Frank that is funded by Wall Street? Don’t voters have a right to see who is holding the strings that control these marionette candidates?
But for now, secret money will continue to flood into campaigns, drowning out the voice of common people. The Republican march to the extreme continues.
I love when the Left attacks "extremism." It shows their utter fear of any kind of principled opposition from the Right--even of the generally weak Republican variety.
As to disclosure, the Editors obviously want it because they believe that most voters would shoot the messenger rather than apply reasoned analysis to the argument being presented. If the oil industry and Wall Street are funding political advertisements (or candidates) seeking repeal of the statist attacks on their businesses, that very fact ipso facto discredits the case for repeal--along with the candidates themselves. Sadly, there are many ignorant voters who would fall for this Leftist line. There is no need to think seriously on the issue. Look who's paying for it, they'll say, abandoning any pretense at becoming a serious, informed voter.
That aside, I'm undecided on the disclosure issue, but certainly not on the real issue; free speech rights protected by the First Amendment. The Editors took a slap at a significant Supreme Court victory for the First Amendment--the Citizens United case. That's what I had in mind with these brief comments:
zemack July 18, 2012 at 11:00AM
Leaving aside the disclosure issue, the real threat to “the voice of common people” are those who favor government “shackles on Campaign Spending.”
In reality, there are only individual people, not “common” vs. “uncommon.” The fact that free associations of individuals—corporations, unions, PACS, etc.—choose to voluntarily pool their money to advocate for a common cause does not and will not “drown out” anyone. They may be more effective at getting their message out, and that’s a good thing for public debate.
But it’s bad for those who desire an imperial political class that can operate without those pesky effective citizen voices. And perhaps it’s bad for old media monopolists that used to dominate. But limitless spending on political campaigns—secret or not—is great for First Amendment rights and freedom generally.
If the flood of campaign spending is bad, then work on getting rid of the cause that draws that money into politics; government meddling in the economy.