CCP is occasionally asked and often criticized regarding our position on disclosure of contributions in the political world. As we’ve made clear in the past, there may be some benefit to the disclosure of contributions made directly to political candidates and parties, as well as those made to entities that themselves contribute directly to candidates and parties.
As for disclosure in other areas, we generally regard the benefits as minimal and the costs as high. This morning I stumbled across a news story a few months old that demonstrate exactly why we’re not fans of disclosure outside of the candidate-related realm. From the online version of the San Francisco Chronicle, circa July 19 of this year:
Labor play: San Francisco labor leaders are asking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to put the squeeze on the main backer of a measure headed for the city’s November ballot that would change the public worker pension system.
The target: British-born billionaire venture capitalist Michael Moritz. He and his wife, Harriet Heyman, have contributed $245,000 to help qualify the initiative being put forth by San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi.
…The labor play: a forthcoming resolution asking Pelosi to oppose any federal funding to companies owned by Moritz’s venture capital firm, Sequoia Capital. Labor leaders estimate that Sequoia-backed businesses have received no less than $250 million in federal contracts, mostly through the Energy Department.