Will campaign donors be secret?

The Los Angeles Times reports that the Federal Election Commission is deadlocked on whether donors who contribute through an organization like the Chamber of Commerce will be disclosed or kept secret. The issue was brought to the FEC after conservative groups argued that they are not covered by federal disclosure laws requiring that donors of $1,000 or more be identified because the donors don’t know which specific candidate will receive the contribution. In a three-three split between Republicans and Democrats, the prediction is that hundreds of millions in contributions in next year’s federal elections will be kept secret, following an earlier U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited contributions but which the judges claimed would not taint the process because the donors would be disclosed.

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