Daily Republic editorial board opines on secret-donor case

From today’s Hisses and Cheers on Page 4 of The Daily Republic:

HISSES to Monday’s court ruling that will keep private the identity of a donor who gave $750,000 to the 2006 abortion-ban campaign in South Dakota. When people donate giant sums of money to influence our lawmaking process, we deserve to know the identities of those people. If those names are kept private, it sends the signal that anyone with enough money can try to “buy” a law anonymously. That’s not the way our democracy is supposed to work, and it’s not the way our campaign-finance laws should be interpreted.

10 thoughts on “Daily Republic editorial board opines on secret-donor case

  1. Congratulation to the Daily Reublic, Bob Mercer and all the other persons who have fought for openness in government. At the local level there is too much rubber stamping, the bosses decisions.
    People get elected and then the voters never see or hear them discuss the issues. When was the last time anyone had guts enough to vote no on an issue? I hope the Sec. of State appeals that judges’ decision because $750,000 is a lot of money to hide a person’s agenda.

  2. I am glad our fourth estate- media- is on this one- secrecy does not belong in government. I hope someone comes forward to unseat Roger Hunt in Brandon.

  3. Sorry. I disagree. You have the right to know Gov. affairs, business motives, but I, as an individual, have the right to give my money (no matter the sum) to anyone I wish. Period.
    If I, as an individual, have a opinion on abortion (for or against), and if I have the resourses to spend my, personal, monies on my favorite goal…….I can. You don’t need to know. When I give, I give quietly. I don’t need a pat on the back for my good works, or the criticism.

  4. Disagreeable, you have the right to give huge amounts of money to anyone you wish BUT you are required by law to report and pay gift taxes on it,or you will be on the inside looking out! An individual can give only so much to political candidates and parties. Giving to a voting issue needs to be determined by the highest court. Until that happens there will be questions as to whether the wealthy can buy governments.

  5. I agree with TDR in its editorial position. While I see where “Disagreeable” is coming from, I would fully agree with him if he was speaking about a private donation to a private cause, such as a donation to a school, charitable organization, etc. But in this case, the issue involved a major private donation to a “private” organization which was really an artifically created organization was only purpose is for advocating for a PUBLIC issue. As such, the public deserves to know who is trying to persuade them.

  6. Thanks for sticking up for openness in government. Kudos to the Daily.

    Disagreeable – Would your opinion be different if someone was trying to buy a law to take away your rights?

  7. Lindsey, I would expect that the rights of others were also being violated, therefore, we have the vote to turn it down.
    As to ‘your right to know’, yes, if I gave over the alloted amount, I would expect to pay taxes. I have always declared on my income taxes my donations. Since when does our Gov. publish the taxes I pay? If the organization was NOT a “tax exempt” organization I would receive no tax benefit, but would in fact be declaring it also as a gift. Are you telling me that Uncle would be standing on the street corner shouting it to the world?
    (When I win the Lotto I’m not telling you what I give, or to whom I give it. Now go have a nice day.)

  8. Actually, much tax info is public. For example, anybody can go to the courthouse and find out the assessment of your property. They can also get the mill levies and do the math to figure out how much you owe.

  9. Yes, Seth, they can go to the court house and find the price of my home upon purchasing it, the property taxes I pay, the Gov. monies I may collect, and the wages my school may pay me. They do not, however, know the personal taxes I may pay April 15. That is my personal business. They also don’t know if I declare all my tip moneys, or the cash payment I might receive for a job done. Right or wrong there is privacy.

  10. “Disagree” is rightly concerned with personal privacy. The comments here, however, are about a public policy matter — not about one’s personal business.

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