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.