April 27, 2010; Source: Wall Street Journal | It looks like groups on the left and right are finding common cause in their opposition to legislation that would require disclosures of organizations that donate money to underwrite political ads on television. The proposed legislation is meant to tighten rules governing campaign advertising in the wake of the recent Supreme Court ruling that lifted restrictions on political activity by corporations and other interest groups. It’s no surprise that conservative and pro-business groups oppose the pending campaign-finance law, but much to the chagrin of Democrats pushing for the restrictions, liberal organizations such as the Sierra Club and Alliance for Justice are lobbying to water down the bill. According to the Wall Street Journal, “The liberal groups, along with conservative and business organizations, are concerned that wealthy individuals and entities wouldn’t donate to their organizations if their names had to be disclosed.”
Sign up for our free newsletters
Subscribe to NPQ's newsletters to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.
While not saying whether his group will ultimately oppose the bill, a spokesman for the Sierra Club said the new disclosure requirements are a “significant issue.” Meanwhile, New York Democrat Sen. Charles Schumer, one of the bill’s authors, said: “Whether you are a major corporation or a good-government nonprofit, if you are going to spend money on television to influence elections, it is only common sense that you should disclose the sources of your funding.”—Bruce Trachtenberg