Rich People Can No Longer Hide Their Political Contributions

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Sad news for rich people today:

Advocacy groups pouring money into independent campaigns to impact this fall’s midterm races must disclose many of their political donors beginning this week after the Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to intervene in a long-running case. The high court did not grant an emergency request to stay a ruling by a federal judge in Washington.

….Nonprofit advocacy groups — which do not have to publicly disclose their donors, as political committees do — will now have to begin reporting the names of contributors who give more than $200 per election toward their independent political campaigns, campaign finance lawyers said….The change could affect heavyweight groups across the political spectrum, including the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity on the right and the League of Conservation Voters on the left.

To be honest, I’ve never quite understood why rich people are so hellbent on hiding their political contributions, but I guess now we’ll find out just how serious they are. I assume this will wend its way up to the Supreme Court normally in a year or two, and then we’ll get a permanent ruling. In the meantime, if you want to give a million bucks to Americans for Trumpocracy, you’re going to have to let the whole world know you’re doing it.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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