Monday, June 18, 2012

Turns out Republicans don't want campaign-finance transparency, after all

Back when Citizens United was decided, I suggested that we'd soon see a movement toward keeping campaign donors secret: "The effects of corporate money flooding campaigns can be somewhat counteracted by know who is spending the money and where it’s going to. Soon, though, we might not even have that. And what we’ll have is millions upon millions of dollars being spent to sway voters without those voters having any understanding of how the system is really working. That’ll be good for corporations and the candidates they support. But it won’t be so good for the rest of us — or for our democracy." And I said it because that was the clear aim of the big-money advocates.

I mention this because, in a rare bit of vindication for my political prediction abilities, that's precisely what has come to pass. Fred Hiatt gives the overview today:
Republicans always dangled this apple in the most alluring way. Political money will find a path, they would insist. Give up! Give in! We will post every donation on the Web, instantly! We will give you transparency! Sunshine! Accountability!

What could be more democratic?

I never strayed, though, and now I thank the gods of McCain-Feingold that I did not, because the temptation turns out to have been nothing but a trick. The Republicans, apparently, never meant it. Now that they have Unlimited Donations, or something pretty close, they don’t want Unlimited Disclosure after all.

They want unlimited contributions, in secret.
Read the whole thing, as they say. It was all rather drearily predictable.

No comments: