On his August 25th show, liberal MSNBC host Ed Schulz expressed concern about publication of personal information of people based on their political participation. Said Ed, “A tea party blog in Maine listed the D.C. home addresses of [various prominent Democrats]. Can somebody tell me why? What is the usefulness of this? Do they actually want people to show up outside their door, maybe help them get the morning paper. Folks, this is what the brownshirts did in the 1930s in Germany… This sets the table for intimidation and harassment… This could set the table for stalking, because no one can tell us where all this ends.”
Other than the over-the-top Nazi reference and the fact that it takes a “tea party blog” to get Ed fired up, not bad. Substitute “a federal government website” [the FEC] for “a tea party blog” and you’ve got campaign finance disclosure. At some point, we need to understand that forced disclosure of donor names and information is not all milk and cookies, fuzzy kittens, and rainbows. At some level, even Ed Schulz seems to understand that point, although I doubt he’s yet drawn the connection between what he condemns when done by a stray, relatively powerless blogger up in Maine, and campaign finance laws.