NY Times denounces secret campaign contributions

An editorial in today’s New York Times, calling attention to a Bloomberg News story, reveals that

[T]he health insurance lobby secretly gave $86.2 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2009 to try to prevent the health care bill from becoming law….

This year, the chamber raised nearly $33 million in secret donations for political ads in the midterm elections, almost all of which was used to elect Republicans who have vowed to repeal the health care law. Did some of that money come, once again, from health insurance companies that were unwilling to attach their names to their contributions? It’s a logical assumption, but only the donors and the chamber know for sure….  What will those donors get for their money, and who will they get it from? …

If it were clear who was giving to which lawmakers, we’d have a rough form of accountability. … Those who set up and financed this secret system don’t want voters to know that information. And many of them are still blocking the legislation that could end it — the Disclose Act, which would prohibit secret political contributions. It will also be interesting to see which of the new lawmakers vote against that bill.

Seems to me that channeling campaign contributions through outfits such as the US Chamber of Commerce to hide the donors’ identity is a form of money laundering. If it’s illegal for drug cartels, why not for for-profit corporations?

About Hamilton Richards

He retired in 2006 as a Senior Lecturer in Computer Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. These days he volunteers technical support for Citizens' Climate Lobby (Austin chapter), Common Ground for Texans, (CG4Tx.org), Integrity Texas (IntegrityTexas.org), Austin Rowing Club, and several friends.
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