Why Do Prop. 8 Supporters Want To Stay In The Closet?

A number of news outlets are reporting this morning that a lawsuit has been filed by supporters of Proposition 8 to prevent the California Secretary of State from making their names available to the public.
State campaign finance law has long required that campaign finance reports be made public. This means that any contributor of $100 or more has his/her name, address, occupation, and employer listed on a public document. These documents are searchable through various databases, enabling you to see which friends and neighbors gave to a candidate or initiative, and how much they gave.
Supporters of Proposition 8 have now cited fears of violence and other backlash to try to keep their donations secret.
The law is very clear on reporting requirements. Anyone who wanted to remain anonymous should have kept their total contribution under $99.
The basics of campaign finance transparency should not be changed because a small group is unwilling to take public responsibility for their actions. Why are they unwilling to out themselves and face public scrutiny of their behavior? If they supported Prop. 8 with a significant financial contribution, they should be proud to let it be known.

  11 comments for “Why Do Prop. 8 Supporters Want To Stay In The Closet?

  1. Dan Chmielewski
    January 9, 2009 at 11:55 am

    To borrow a phrase from Chuck DeVore, who argued gay marriage was a slippery slope towards allowing polygamy, allowing the Prop 8 supporters to shield their identities is also a slippery slope. If you want to gove to an issue and keep your identity secret, you write a check for $99. If you have more to spend and want to spend it, it comes at the cost of revealing your name and the amount spent. If Republicans who supported Prop 8 are supporting this legal trick, then they have proven themselves to truly be hypocrites when it comes to open elections.

  2. ck
    January 9, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    maybe its because a minority of anti-prop 8 activists harass them

  3. dclark
    January 9, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Because the anti-prop 8 crowd is so liberal, open, and peaceful?

  4. demmother
    January 10, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    I do not condone harassment of the ‘small fry’ but Ed is correct – there is a reason for transparency in campaign disclosure. I would like to see more since some PACs seem to disguise themselves as non profits.

    I also want to know how religious institutions could distribute campaign material on their property.

  5. Brian
    January 10, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    It has been very important for me to be able to check online the supporters of prop 8. I do not want to do business with people that are imposing an unwanted divorce on me. I also know of the lies told during that campaign and do not want to do business with these kind of people. I found my dentist on this list and immediately changed. Why would a gay man want any health professional that does not see him as an equal or less than? After prop 8 passed I have decided to be pro-equality whenever possible. I buy big ticket items in Massachusetts or Canada and have them shipped here. I pay more for produce even if it is from Canada rather than California. I now go to a gay dentist and gay doctor. I am stopping business with those that hate me. Keep the names public.

  6. Steve Perez
    January 11, 2009 at 7:28 am

    demmother,
    religious institutions that enjoy tax-exempt status are able to be politically active with propositions and referendums, just not political candidates. I do condone the economic harassment of small frys! It stops them from becoming large frys and cause even more trouble then! Thats awesome that your doing that Brian!

  7. Bladerunner
    January 11, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    While I find the political and economic pogroms practiced against supporters and opponenets of Proposition 8 distasteful and reminiscent of the people refusing to go see motion pictures of Jane Fonda or Charleston Heston because of their political views, I have to agree with Mr. Chmieliewski. This effort to eliminate the requirement to divulge the name , address and occupation of contributors is anti-democratic and ironically, is the same position taken by small, marxist and communist parties in litigation decades ago. They claimed they needed to keep their contributors anonymous to escape harassment. Strange intellectual bedfellows!

    Conservatives have generally opposed campaign expenditure and contribution limits and public financing by saying the answer is full disclosure of contributions and for some,, instant contribution information provided on the internet. Not surprisingly perhaps, those conservative advocates of full and instant campaign reporting transperancy are awfully quiet in response to Ken Starr & Co’s brazen attempt to classify certain contributions as top secret.

    There is nothing magic though about the $100 threshold for reporting–federal campaigns don’t have to report anything under $200—but to start cherry picking issues or candidates to get around full public disclosure is, as Mr. C points out, a slippery slope for our democracy.

  8. Misha Houser
    January 12, 2009 at 10:32 am

    There are also Democrats on that list, which demonstrates how much work the LGBT organizations and community need to do to overcome such hideous bigotry about this civil rights issue.

  9. Bobbie
    January 12, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    This discourse is so sad!!

  10. Chris
    January 12, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Aren’t conservatives the ones who love to preach self-reliance? And following that logic, isn’t it incumbent upon donors to political causes to understand the rules under which they donate? Or is this making too much sense?

    Seems that some were in a hurry to H8. Now the truth has come out and anonymity’s too late!

  11. Brian
    January 12, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Bobbie, so is waiting around to see if your still married or divorced by voters. Try that out.

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