One of the only federal checks on campaign contributions is being done away with by the Trump administration. A new policy, which is set to go into effect on Thursday, takes away the responsibility of some nonprofits to disclose who their biggest money donors are. Up until now this has been one of the only ways for our country to try and keep foreign money and interests out of our elections. The fact that Trump–;someone with a long history of foreign money backing–;is making sure it”;s easier for foreign money to leak into our election process is not surprising, just depressing.
But this isn”;t a new, Trump-created policy. Fighting to end any semblance of transparency in campaign finance is one that has been fought for by conservative groups like the National Rifle Association and Koch groups like Americans for Prosperity for over a decade. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has pushed for this clouding up of campaign finance for years now, arguably adding a cherry on top of his legacy of helping to create a powerful and hidden ruling donor class.
Conservative groups like the NRA–;a nonprofit that is in dire need of some untraceable money as it deals with lawsuits and mismanagement–;tell CNN that they are over the moon about this new policy, saying it “helps safeguard the legitimacy of the political process and helps ensure donors on both sides of the aisle will not be attacked for their beliefs.” The argument that has been made by McConnell, the Kochs, and others has been that the political nonprofits now exempted do not offer up charitable donations, so the IRS need not be involved. This argument has been coupled with the perennial conservative snowflake whining that forcing political action committees and campaign contributors to divulge the sources of their finances leaves timid red-blooded Americans open to oppression by the IRS.
Campaign finance reformers–;and anyone paying attention to how dubious big money spending in elections has become–;point to the need for there to be checks and scrutiny over where and how much money is being spent in service of our democracy. The Trump organization”;s willingness to take any and all money offered to them is well documented. The connections between the Trump campaign and Russian interests is also well documented. The NRA”;s strange relationship with
“;access agent”; Maria Butina landed Butina in jail.
It”;s not simply Donald Trump”;s dubious campaign money that”;s at stake. The Republican Party has a long history of campaign finance shenanigans, charges of suspicious and unscrupulous uses of campaign money and nonprofit money, and coordinations.
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