Donor Privacy News – January 15, 2019

Following are a few noteworthy articles and op-eds about donor privacy that have been published recently.

WSJ: Majority Preservation Act – The first House Democratic bill aims to hamstring opponents
By The Editorial Board
House Democrats are up and running, and their first bill is instructive. Couched as an anti-corruption and good-government measure, it is really an attempt to silence or obstruct political opponents.

Star Tribune: In thinking of disclosure laws, don’t forget the value of anonymous speech
By Daniel N. Rosen, Minneapolis attorney and a member of the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.
Anonymous speech is deeply ingrained in our American democratic tradition. American democracy not only permits anonymous speech, it depends upon it.

Tulsa World: Privacy needed to protect free speech
By Jonathan Small, President of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.
The Oklahoma Ethics Commission may have the best intentions, but limits on government power are not about good intentions. They come from the real-world experience of the risks of giving small groups of elites and unelected bureaucrats too much power over everybody else. And no limits are more precious than those that protect our political freedoms, the rights to think, speak and assemble free of government interference. Transparency is for government agencies and officials exercising government power. Privacy is for people.

The Orange County Register: Federal campaign finance reform helps special interests
By Ron Paul
Supporters of groups with “dissident beliefs” have good reason to fear new disclosure laws. In 2014, the IRS had to pay $50,000 dollars to the National Organization for Marriage because an IRS employee leaked donors’ names to the organization’s opponents. Fortunately, the Trump administration has repealed the regulation forcing activist groups to disclose their donors to the IRS. Unfortunately, Congress seems poised to reinstate that rule.

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