Buffalo News: Campaign finance disclosure laws may invade citizens’ privacy (In the News)

By Luke Wachob
Campaign finance disclosure laws are supposed to empower citizens to monitor elected officials. But today, we increasingly hear calls for disclosure laws that would do the opposite: afford those in power the ability to monitor the beliefs and activities of the citizens they serve. 
According to The Buffalo News editorial, “Disclosure of political contributions is a fundamental check on government,” dark money allows anonymous contributions to nonprofits for the purpose of supporting or opposing a candidate or issue. 
However, all contributions of more than $200 to federal candidates are publicly disclosed, including the contributor’s name, address, occupation and employer. In addition, contributions to political parties, PACs and super PACs are also fully disclosed over similarly small thresholds. In New York, all contributors who give more than $99 to statewide and legislative candidates are disclosed.