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Wisconsin State Journal Weighs Into Listing Campaign Contributors’ Employers

October 21, 2015

Yesterday I made it clear where I stood on the matter regarding the need to list the employer of a campaign donor.

Just like affixing one’s name to an actual petition over an issue so it also should be expected that requiring full openness needs to occur when making a political donation.    Our process always works better when we all know who is applying pressure–in whatever form–on candidates and elected officials.

Today the Wisconsin State Journal used the editorial  page and punched forward with a strong message, too.

But encouraging good government is more important when the evidence of harm to private business is scant.

That’s why Wisconsin should continue to provide the public with basic details about big campaign donors — their names, professions and places of work — when they make large donations to the campaigns of Wisconsin politicians. Transparency is an important safeguard against illegal campaign donations and corruption.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 22, 2015 9:45 AM

    Tom,

    It is simply a means to better understand what business, or type of businesses are involved in a campaign. Without such data it is much harder for the public to know who is bankrolling efforts to influence elections.

  2. tom permalink
    October 22, 2015 8:42 AM

    I think there is some common ground here: we both agree that donations should be disclosed so that there is some accountability. What you have not explained is why the public needs to know the employer of one making the donation. Why is that important? Perhaps this question was addressed in your previous post. I’ll check.

  3. October 21, 2015 8:08 PM

    One can have private political thoughts. But when one enters the public arena of donations to carry favor or influence an election the rest of us have a right to know. That is how transparent elections should work. Your linkage of free speech to money in campaigns is the very root of the problem that is only growing. It needs to be reigned in.

  4. tom permalink
    October 21, 2015 7:24 PM

    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe that one needs to list their place of employment in order to sign and petition their government. Employment is not a condition of citizenship.

    One’s private political activity should be separate from their employment. This should be true even in the case of large donations. To remove this protection means that employers might be able and willing to search records and then find any number of reasons to dismiss a donor from employment. Secondly, individuals and businesses need protection from the mob–usually of crazy liberal fundamentalists–who will absolutely do whatever they can to punish their political enemies. A government must protect its citizens from the feral impulses of the haters who would strip citizens of their rights to employment and free speech.

    I think there is danger in both illegal donations and in corruption, but there is far greater danger in forcing citizens to offer their employment as a condition of making a donation. If it is so vital to have this information, why not also require a valid email address, social security number, drivers lic number, DNA sample, and current photograph?

    Free speech is one of our most sacred freedoms, but one of the most hated by the left. As I was more liberal once, I just don’t understand this impulse.

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