Late last year, just before the election, the left was railing against groups with anonymous contributors spending money on political activities. “The American people deserve to know who’s trying to sway their elections,” said the President. “You can’t stand by and let the special interests drown out the voices of the American people.”
He called these groups, “not just a threat to Democrats, that’s a threat to our democracy.”
“We don’t control outside groups,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters today on Air Force One, as the president flew from Washington, DC, to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. “These are not people working for the administration.”
Carney was referring to Priorities USA and Priorities USA Action, the new outside groups formed by former White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney, who served as chief of staff to then-White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. Priorities USA Action will register itself in the tax code as a “social welfare group,” which does not require the disclosure of donors. Or, as Burton and Sweeney put it in a press release: “Priorities USA Action is an Independent Expenditure PAC that supports candidates who will advance policies that provide the strongest and most sound outcomes for middle class families.”
I guess it’s ok when liberals do it. Though, to be clear, I don’t have a problem with these groups. I think we’re too hung up on who is saying things as opposed to what is being said.
If a group of citizens or businesses or organizations want to pool their resources in order to support a certain political agenda or message, why shouldn’t they be allowed to do that?
This is still a free country with free speech, right? And while disclosure of contributions isn’t necessarily a prohibition on speech, why should private individuals/organizations spending their own money on political speech have to disclose anything?