A coalition of unions may be gearing up to fight a recent New York City campaign regulation. According to City Hall, a recent ballot measure would require outside groups, including unions, to disclose “every dollar spent advocating for or against candidates.”
To require disclosure of all expenditures, without even a de minimis exemption for minor expenses, imposes an enormous burden on the ability of unions, corporations, and advocacy groups to participate in the political process. Simply put, disclosure of minutiae is expensive. Any well-run organization monitors its income and spending, but having to classify every penny as either a political expenditure or otherwise – and risk state intervention and sanction over minor expenses – imposes heavy organizational costs without doing anything to “clean up” elections.