When I saw the headline on the Minnesota Birkeydependent – “Backers of gay marriage ban seek to prevent disclosure about campaign spending, donors” is how it reads – my spidey-sense just knew it would be in there.
What, you ask?
That little thing that’s there whenever any talk of campaign finance disclosure – by Republicans – comes up.
Stay with me, here. Birkey writes:
The groups behind a ballot measure that would put a ban on same-sex marriage in the Minnesota Constitution urged the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board on Tuesday to retain a rule that would allow corporations to make unlimited contributions in support of the ballot measure. The Minnesota Family Council (MFC) testified that it shouldn’t have to disclose any of its donors in the campaign to pass the amendment, while Minnesota for Marriage, of which MFC and the National Organization for Marriage are a part, brought in attorneys from the Citizens United Supreme Court case to argue that political spending by corporations on the amendment push should be shielded from disclosure laws.
Now as you know, I favor scrapping all restrictions on domestic campaign contributions – but requiring all campaigns and parties to immediately, as in “within one hour of receiving the donation, and before cashing the checks”, disclosing all donations on the internet, and keeping those donations available for years.
But that’s not really the point of this post.
No, it’s this. Indeed, I skipped over most of Birkey’s piece, until I found what I knew I’d find, immediately, upon reading the headline:
But the majority of the testifiers supported the board in changing its opinion on corporate disclosure.
Mike Dean of Common Cause Minnesota said, “Minnesota has a long history of supporting disclosure.”
He said it helps the board gather and detect violations and cited a complaint his group filed against the National Organization for Marriage and the Minnesota Family Council over ads the groups ran in 2010 that they did not report.
“Having this knowledge allows the public to make informed decisions,” he said. “The public has a right to know who is making this political speech. Without the knowledge about who is making political speech, the public can’t evaluate the information or misinformation.”
Fascinating assertion, coming from Mike Dean…
…who leads “Common Cause of Minnesota”, which agitates for transparancy (on the part of non-“progressive” organizations)…
…and whose organization shows $600,000 donations last year, every penny of them anonymous.