CONGRESSIONAL CORPORATE CAMOUFLAGE
The Justices of Supreme Court in Citizens United left it to the folk in Congress to require disclosure political contributions. To the Justices credit, they apparently assumed the folk in Congress would. So far they have not.
Somebody has suggested that the folk in Congress should wear NASCAR type jackets showing the logos of their corporate sponsors. I don’t think jackets would be big enough. I think it is going to take full length dusters. Someone from a primitive society might think that these people in their long cloaks covered in brightly colored arcane symbols were wizards. Nope. Just legislators. Just elected public servants.
What legislation was initially introduced (and shrugged off) had ‘carve outs’. In other words, exemptions. The two organizations I am aware of who were cited by name to be exempt from disclosing their contributors were the NRA and AARP. At least with AARP it begs the question of what they were going to do if they weren’t exempted? Beat the legislators with their canes and golf clubs?
There is a place under Free Speech for anonymous speech, particularly if there is real concern of reprisals. But, if Bill Gates or Warren Buffet is going to buy a Senator, I think we have a right to know about it.
There is a difference between individuals contributing modest amounts to lobbying or campaigns and individuals contributing small fortunes either on their own or in conjunction with artificial entities. I would like to stay obscure in my own little corner of the net and not be bothered, but if some one is buying the PA system, there should be meaningful disclosure. “Swiftboaters” and “Friends of Bill Clinton” are not meaningful disclosures.
And as long as it does and it wants to stay veiled from public scrutiny, those who benefit from its largesse will do–or not do–whatever is needed to maintain its obscurity.