Weekly Standard: The New Assault on Privacy (In the News)

Weekly Standard: The New Assault on Privacy

By James Piereson

On February 27 the Supreme Court turned down an appeal in a case from Colorado that would have decided whether nonprofit organizations that run issue advertisements during election campaigns can be compelled to disclose the names and addresses of their donors…

In the Colorado case, the Independence Institute, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, proposed to run a series of “issue advertisements” during the 2014 Senate campaign urging the state’s two senators to support a federal bill to reform guidelines for criminal sentences. The proposed ads addressed only this narrow issue and did not endorse or oppose any candidate for election. Nevertheless, under the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Act of 2002, the organization would have been required to make public its list of donors because the ads, though they were focused narrowly on issues, mentioned the name of a senator on the ballot within 60 days of the election…

According to the Center for Competitive Politics, more than 95 percent of all funds spent on election campaigns are subject to donor disclosure. 

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