• Patrick

    My assumption is that Walker only supports transparency because he doesn’t support the alternative – strict limitations on who can and cannot donate, and limits on how much they can donate. Sure, being able to identify a donor is great, but it’s hard to stop a steamroller powered by millions of dollars, even if we know who’s financing the whole thing.

  • David Rieck

    A proposal to report all contributions, no matter how small, sounds at first like a step forward for open government. It is, instead, a chilling step away from democracy itself.

    When 1 million people signed the Walker recall petition, they had no idea their names would be posted on the internet, with many influential people calling for retaliation against them. Candidates for everything from judge to dog catcher were called radicals and unfit for office for exercising a normal citizen’s right. You can guarantee the same thing will happen with a list of $25 donors.

    This would be a huge gain for the Republican Party. A business owner or CEO can give a million dollars to a Republican candidate with no fear of losing his job. But that same business manger can look up job applicants who gave to a Democratic candidate, and keep them unemployed a little longer. Some might go through and fire all donors. You don’t think they would? You haven’t been paying attention.

    Campaign finance laws are in place to preserve democracy by keeping a few people from having disproportionate influence on elections. Reporting of small contributions would multiply the influence of business managers. If working people were afraid to contribute, the Democratic Party would be more influenced by Hollywood money. Even Ryan and Walker don’t want that.