I've had it. I've read one too many articles about the millions of dollars in anonymous money pouring into California to defeat Proposition 30, a proposition that will only affect Californians. I still don't understand who crowned Molly Munger queen of California and told her to spend millions of dollars on more ballot box budgeting that would defund everything except the schools, but at least we know who she is and what her stake is.
This mess is only partly caused by the Supreme Court, although God knows without them we wouldn't have had the absurd statement that "money" equals "free speech." I'm not even going to bother to deconstruct that, it's stupid on the face of it. Money equals money, period; and corporations, no matter what Antonin Scalia thinks, are not people.
I haven't got a citation for this, but if I recall correctly, the Citizens United decision actually included a statement that Congress should encourage disclosure of campaign contributions to support transparency. Congress has not done this, at least partly because the Senate Republicans filibustered an effort last July, when the DISCLOSE act, which I supported, died in committee. Before you blame the Republicans entirely, it also means that the Senate Democrats didn't have whatever it took (persuasiveness, courage, moral force, I don't know) to gather 60 votes to override the Republican filibuster.
Neither side, of course, wants campaign finance disclosure, because they are making millions (or is it billions yet?) off anonymous donations through "social welfare" organizations. Social welfare, my eye and Betty's pet sow. A "social welfare organization" is one that helps people who need help. These groups - we all know their names, if not who they are - pay people to lie to defeat measures that they object to. Look their ads up on Politifact and see if I'm wrong.
So what can we do? We the citizens of the United States, being mostly not stinking rich, have only one weapon left against this. We have our individual votes. Let your congressperson know that you expect him/her to pass the DISCLOSE Act or something equivalent. Given Citizens United, we probably can't stop the flow of money. But we must require the donors to admit who they are. And any congressbeing that doesn't devote its ultimate efforts to forcing disclosure of the donor's name for campaign contributions over $10,000 (which was the DISCLOSE limit) should not expect to get your vote, ever again. For anything.
We have to tell them this. We have to remind them of it regularly. And we have to act on it at the next election. If we don't get campaign finance donor disclosure by the 2014 elections, we should vote against every incumbent in Congress - especially every Republican incumbent, most of whom seem to be crazy as bedbugs anyway.
And we should all also ask ourselves the question that bugs me every time I think about this: why are these donors so afraid to tell us who they are? What are they hiding? What do they not want us to know?
I was raised to believe that if you said something, and meant it, you put your name behind it. It is true that I blog under a pen name, but it isn't all that damn hard to find out who I am; and I'm only spending speech, not money. The people behind these "social welfare organizations" are in the process of stealing our country for their personal gain. Disclosure of who they are is the only weapon we have left. Tell your Representative and your Senators. And VOTE.