The high court needs a lesson on ‘dark money’
Someone please explain how the U.S. Supreme Court can support a ruling that “dark money” groups must disclose the identities of some anonymous donors, when in 2010, the high court ruled in the infamous case of Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission that tax-exempt “dark money” organizations don’t have to disclose their donors?
Isn’t their job to “interpret” the Constitution and Declaration and base their decisions on our nation’s founding principles?
Is not accountability and transparency at the core of our freedoms in this country?
The Supreme Court is one of the bastions of a democratic, civil society whose job is to protect the average citizen, to keep government and all of the influences of capitalism transparent to … we say again …. protect the average citizen.
You’ve heard the term “Democracy dies in darkness.”
It sure does. It sure can.
We submit — especially in this era of cyber warfare by foreign nations bent on taking away our freedoms and trying to sow discord among our citizenry — that American citizens have every right to know who is giving what money to whom so to influence our elections, our government, our way of life.
Here’s an excerpt from an op-ed by WatchDog.org that we completely and wholeheartedly agree with:
“American freedom was founded upon a reliance on open, transparent government. The proof of this can be found in the thinking of the Founders themselves. In an 1822 letter to an associate in Kentucky, James Madison wrote, ‘A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.’
“In a 1765 treatise, John Adams wrote, ‘Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right … to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean, of the character and conduct of their rulers.’ And in 1802, President Thomas Jefferson wrote to his treasury secretary, ‘We might hope to see the finances of the union as clear and intelligible as a merchant’s books, so that every member of Congress and every man of any mind in the Union should be able to comprehend them, to investigate abuses, and consequently to control them.’
“What these three Founding Fathers understood and pointed out was that good government — a government that protects freedom, liberty and self-government — brings with it a foundational requirement of accessible (Madison) and understandable (Jefferson) information about public programs, activities, and government leaders (Adams). It is only when the American people are armed with this information that they can be the check on bad government that they were intended to be. In short, to borrow from another influential American statesman, government by the people, for the people, and of the people, first requires an informed people.”
Thank you, Mr. Adams, Mr. Madison and Mr. Jefferson (and Mr. Lincoln).
Transparency and accountability are hallmarks of the American way of life. The U.S. Supreme Court needs a lesson in our founding principles.
The health and future of our democracy is at stake.