Political donors often prefer to remain anonymous.
It’s not just shyness. Anonymity can protect you from unscrupulous political opponents. The higher your profile — especially if you’re persuasive, or your story contradicts some treasured “narrative” — the higher your risk may be.
At Breitbart.com, Mike Flynn writes that “non-disclosure of donors” is a shield inherited from “the civil rights struggle, when the government sought to protect donors from intimidation by groups like the KKK.” Nowadays, sundry leftist groups and government officials seem to be the premier intimidators.
Character assassination is just one hazard. Flynn discusses what happened, for example, to cancer patient Bill Elliot and insurance broker Steven Tucker. Elliot spoke publicly about how his coverage had been dropped thanks to Obamacare. Tucker, who helped Elliott get a new policy, also talked to the media about the situation. In short order, both men got notices from the IRS of impending audits.
Then there are the assaults on businessmen like the Koch brothers and Frank VanderSloot (whose case I’ve talked about before). VanderSloot was targeted by the IRS, the Department of Labor and a U.S. Senate office soon after the 2012 Obama campaign published a hit list of “bad” political donors — i.e., major contributors to the Romney campaign.
In light of such realities, it’s fine that espousers of political causes are sometimes pseudonymous, and that donors to them are sometimes anonymous. Every law-abiding individual has an inalienable right to make of himself a harder target.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.