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U.S.News & World Report: Should There Be Less Disclosure in Campaign Finance?

CU President David Bossie answers the Debate Club question:

Campaign Finance Disclosure Is a Burden That Restricts Independent Speech

Proponents of disclosure argue that it is necessary to provide important information to voters. In reality, the information provided does little if anything to enlighten a voter. The current disclosure regime requires federal political committees to report every donor whose contributions exceed $200. This results in reports that are often hundreds, if not thousands of pages long. Those select few who bother to wade through these massive reports will learn little regarding the candidate, the committee, or their supporters.

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Due to the recent decision in Van Hollen v. FEC, similarly ridiculous burdens will now be applied to nonprofit organizations that dare to utter a federal candidate’s name within 60 days of an election. Organizations seeking to make these “electioneering communications” will be forced to file voluminous reports with the FEC itemizing all donors to the organization who have contributed $1,000 or more since the first day of the preceding calendar year. These reports will no longer make an intent-based distinction regarding whether contributors intended to fund the advertising; merely supporting a nonprofit organization that makes an electioneering communication will cause their name to be filed in an overbroad campaign finance report.

Read the rest and vote his answer up here.

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