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Late yesterday, several pro-Democratic groups sued the FEC in hopes of forcing private companies and nonprofits to disclose their political donations.

The lawsuit seeks to close “a major loophole” that allows private companies and nonprofit groups to operate “under a veil of anonymity” in raising money for political work, said Representative Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat who brought the lawsuit along with lawyers for several liberal groups.

Currently, companies and groups only have to name those who give at least $1,000 specifically for political activity.  Van Hollen says that loophole allowed conservative nonprofits to spend $65 million without disclosing where the money came from.  

Predictably, the Repubs are up in arms about it.

“This is a sign of weakness by a group that’s afraid they’re going to lose, and lose big,” said Bradley A. Smith, a conservative lawyer and former Federal Election commissioner who leads the Center for Competitive Politics, a conservative advocacy group.

“Again and again, you see evidence that their real purpose is to try to shut down their political opposition,” Mr. Smith said. He and other conservatives argue that disclosure requirements pushed by Democrats amount to a chilling of free speech.

Oh please.  All Van Hollen wants is a little bit of sunshine.  We're not saying you can't donate--just that people have a right to know who's backing candidates.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I Wonder if the Free Speech Fundamentalists (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Futuristic Dreamer

    on our side have yet seen, with several billion new dollars having been spent for conservatives on the previous election cycle, that "more speech" is not a remedy.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 08:07:05 AM PDT

    •  Don't think I quite understand what you're saying. (0+ / 0-)

      First of all, what the hell is a "Free Speech Fundamentalist"???  Someone who thinks our Constitutional rights are critical and must be protected?  And who would these foolish people on "our side" be?

      There's a difference between having the right to say whatever you want and having to let others know you're the one saying it.  The first is indeed an issue of free speech and must be protected.  The second is not.  And those who are pushing for it are in no way, shape, or form, attempting to limit free speech.

      I hardly think we need to start being sarcastic about the concept of free speech and talking as though those who support it are some kind of wack jobs.

      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

      by gustynpip on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 08:59:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As a strong, but hardly "fundamentalist" supporter (0+ / 0-)

      of our 1st Amendment rights I do think the answer is more speech. Starting by making the point that it seems as if these corporations, nonprofits and individuals are now suggesting that they have "discovered" a right to privacy. These are the same folks who want to make others family planning decisions for them? The same people who may insist on having us pee into a bottle in order to keep our jobs? Where did they find it, BTW?

      An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out? Rene Descartes

      by Had Enough Right Wing BS on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 10:53:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Buying Public Office for Political Hacks (0+ / 0-)

    is an easy way for rich scumbags to line their pockets with obscene amounts of taxpayer dollars, avoid social responsibilities, and collect corporate welfare.

    Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy created this beast "person" with unlimited "free speech" anonymous political donation "rights" with their half-assed, poorly reasoned, ill-conceived Citizens United v. FEC opinion.

    They made influence peddling by and bribery of Congress an institution and corruption a way of life in Amerika.

    Teabaggers, rethugs, and corporatist Democrats are a serious threat to the Constitutional Rule of Law.

    We need public campaign financing -- the corrupting influence of special interest money in the electoral and legislative processes must end as soon as possible.

  •  after citizen's united (0+ / 0-)

    challenge going in the correct direction

    There’s nothing courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don’t have any clout on Capitol Hill. ~ President Obama

    by anyname on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 11:07:05 AM PDT

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