Right now, PACs and many big political donors are allowed to remain anonymous. This breed of donor significantly alters the landscape of elections.
This election year, secret money played a bigger role than in any other presidential campaign since Richard Nixon’s. The nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation says secretly funded groups spent well over $200 million. And four-fifths of it helped Republicans.
So it’s not surprising that conservatives want to keep donors’ identities secret. They say it’s essential to safeguard donors from harassment and intimidation.
“Harassment and intimidation” in this case is euphemistic for being boycotted for supporting legislation and legislators that benefit the donors but hose most of the population. They want to be like Chick-Fil-A, but without the possibility of public backlash. But lest you think that the conservatives are trying to keep their huge-dollar donors secret out of self-interest, Karl Rove is here to assure us (and the courts) that they’re actually noble defenders of civil rights.
Rove, whose group Crossroads GPS was a leader in the secret fundraising, says disclosure advocates have a hidden agenda.
“They want to intimidate people into not giving to … these conservative efforts,” he said on Fox News.
And here is where Rove and Parks cross paths: In defending secret money, Rove invokes that Supreme Court case, NAACP v. Alabama. He lines up Crossroads GPS on the same side as Parks and the NAACP, and he says the transparency advocates make the same argument as the segregationists.
“I think it’s shameful,” Rove said. “I think it’s a sign of their fear of democracy. And it’s interesting that they have antecedents, and the antecedents are a bunch of segregationist attorney generals trying to shut down the NAACP.”
Thank you, GOP, for standing up for equality.