Why political donations should be secret

by - September 09, 2014

Indeed, if we think about all the ways transparency helps contributors and candidates put pressure upon each other, it is clear that reporting contributions can make matters worse. Suppose, then, that we turned out the lights. What if we let Adelson and Shaun McCutcheon spend their money on politics but not take credit for their “generosity”? What if we made all campaign contributions and independent expenditures anonymous — and made sure they stayed anonymous? In their 2002 book Voting with Dollars, Bruce Ackerman and Ian Ayres convincingly argued for making it impossible for candidates to verify the sources and amounts of contributions. Under their approach, contributors could boast of their largess, but candidates would have no way of knowing whether a contribution was actually delivered. Sadly, the idea has not taken root, and federal law continues to make it possible for anyone to learn precisely who has given how much to whom.

Source: Why political donations should be secret | Dallas Morning News

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