For campaign disclosure *and* anonymous political speech

I’ve written quite a bit about how Democrats are getting more money from Wall Street and K Street than Republicans are. Today on Twitter, Chris Hayes of the liberal magazine The Nation, a fellow New Yorker with whom I often agree about government corruption and lobbying, knocked me for using campaign contribution data, which he said was misleading (presumably because it excludes outside expenditures) and because I was “mak[ing] use of a regulation [I] dislike.”

But here’s the thing: I think politicians should be required to report all contributions (and I would make reporting much quicker — like within 24 hours of getting the check).

On the other hand, I don’t think outside groups should be required to disclose their spending or very much about their identity.

It comes down to this: government shouldn’t interfere with political speech, but it should regulate candidates for office. In other words, campaign contribution disclosure isn’t a regulation on the donor, but on the candidate. Requiring outside groups to file reports and follow disclosure rules is abridging political speech — it could intimidate critics of government and create barriers to entry for small players.

Beltway Confidentialcampaign financeThe NationUS

Just Posted

Epic Cleantec uses soil mixed with treated wastewater solids to plants at the company’s demonstration garden in San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of Epic Cleantec)
This startup watches what SF flushes – and grows food with it

Epic Cleantec saves millions of gallons of water a year, and helps companies adhere to drought regulations

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for adolescents in the U.S. (Shutterstock)
Why California teens need mental illness education

SB 224 calls for in-school mental health instruction as depression and suicide rates rise

Ahmad Ibrahim Moss, a Lyft driver whose pandemic-related unemployment benefits have stopped, is driving again and relying on public assistance to help make ends meet. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
How much does gig work cost taxpayers?

Some drivers and labor experts say Prop. 22 pushed an undue burden on to everyday taxpayers.

Affordable housing has become the chief expense for most California students, such as those attending community college in San Francisco. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
California commits $500 million more to student housing

Called ‘a drop in the bucket,’ though $2 billion could be made available in future years

Most Read