Sunday, January 03, 2016

Donor disclosure as a brake on free speech

Leftists will corrupt anything

Not content with using the IRS to harass conservative organizations, the Democrats have turned to using the court system to demand that conservative organizations divulge their donor list. As Breitbart reports:

The San Francisco Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overruled a U.S. District Court judge to give authority to California Attorney General Kamala Harris to obtain the donor list from the Koch Brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity Foundation.

The ‘Americans for Prosperity Foundation’ was founded by Charles and David Koch as a national foundation in 2004 and registered in all states, including California, as a nonprofit organization promoting limited government and free markets by educating individuals around the country about practical ways to improve their circumstances.

It became one of the most influential American conservative political advocacy organizations after the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama, when AFP helped transform the Tea Party movement into a potent political force to oppose the Obama agenda, such as the stimulus, Obamacare, and cap-and-trade.

AFP is especially loathed by unions for supporting limits on the collective bargaining rights of public-sector trade unions, right-to-work laws, and raising the federal minimum wage.

But AFP became the number one target of elected Democrat officials and their constituencies for the role the organization played in breaking Democrat majority control of the House of Representatives in 2010 and the U.S. Senate in 2014.

AFP has complied with the filing requirements with the Internal Revenue Service each year for over a decade and disclosed its nationwide list of major donors’ names and addresses on tax form “Schedule B” for a nonprofit charity. Federal criminal statutes protect the constitutional right to privacy by forbidding the IRS to make any unauthorized disclosure of charity donors to a 501(c)4 non-profit.

This is the left's subtle way of enforcing conformity with their socially extreme views and stifling dissent. It's for this reason that even some voices who once suggested a compromise on campaign donations: unlimited giving, but full disclosure- are now reconsidering. As Charles Krauthammer noted in a column for the Washington Post:

"Open the floodgates, and let the monies, big and small, check and balance each other. And let transparency be the safeguard against corruption. As long as you know who is giving what to whom, you can look for, find and, if necessary, prosecute corrupt connections between donor and receiver."

This used to be my position. No longer. I had not foreseen how donor lists would be used not to ferret out corruption but to pursue and persecute citizens with contrary views. Which corrupts the very idea of full disclosure.

It is now an invitation to the creation of enemies lists. Containing, for example, Brendan Eich, forced to resign as Mozilla CEO when it was disclosed that six years earlier he’d given $1,000 to support a referendum banning gay marriage. He was hardly the first. Activists compiled blacklists of donors to Proposition 8 and went after them. Indeed, shortly after the referendum passed, both the artistic director of the California Musical Theatre in Sacramento and the president of the Los Angeles Film Festival were hounded out of office.

Referendums produce the purest example of transparency misused because corrupt favoritism is not an issue. There’s no one to corrupt. Supporting a referendum is a pure expression of one’s beliefs. Full disclosure in that context becomes a cudgel, an invitation to harassment.

This isn't about ferretting out corruption- it's about naming and shaming. That's the only explanation for investigation of a group that's been in full compliance with the law. This just serves as another reminder: liberals aren't interested in winning the debate, they're interested in ending it.



Anonymous said...

liberals aren't interested in winning the debate, they're interested in ending it.
Charles has got that right !!!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymity it an important protection if freedom is to prevail.
Remember that the use of anonymity and pseudonyms protected the founding father pamphleteers and is still needed today.

Bird of Paradise said...

This is the same party(Demacrat)that hollywood ding-bat Julia Roberts said was OF THE PEOPLE,BY THE PEOPLE,FOR THE PEOPLE. Yeah what dose a drug and booze hollywood muttonhead like her know about the american people?