I received this draft opinion from the FEC Friday afternoon. Did they think no one would notice?
Dan Backer, treasurer for several very conservative PACs, filed a request for the Tea Party Leadership Fund, aka TeaParty.net to be exempt from disclosure and filing requirements because they're concerned about public backlash and persecution.
The request listed many instances which were ginned up to make it look like they're being stalked, with no corresponding fact-checking on their claims. Ranging from IRS 'persecution' to harassment of individual members, they claimed they are entitled to an exemption from all FEC reporting and disclosure requirements, including DONORS, because they might be hassled just like the NAACP was back in the day.
Never in a million years would I have believed the FEC would allow such a thing, particularly in light of the corruption we've seen from dark money in our electoral process. Yet, here is their draft opinion, summarized in the first sentence:
Yes, TPLF is entitled to an exemption from all of the above-enumerated reporting and disclosure requirements because it has demonstrated a reasonable probability that compelled disclosure would subject its supporters to threats, harassment, or reprisals.
I want you to imagine what 2014 will be like with this group as the conduit into every single state with millions upon millions of undisclosed donations. Anyone who thinks the Kochs and their compatriots wouldn't use this as their primary avenue for buying elections hasn't been paying close attention to much of anything.
The hearing on this issue is set for November 21st. I've created a petition here. If you agree that this is a complete disaster for our electoral system, please sign the petition and share it with everyone you know.
UPDATE 11/16/2013: There are now TWO drafts of the proposed ruling. One approving the request and one denying it. It's really important that your voice be heard on these, so the FEC understands that they shouldn't be even considering approving non-disclosure.