Reality Check: Special Interests Don’t Make Anonymous Contributions

We normally don’t comment on election matters, but the issue of who counts as a “special interest” goes beyond the election. A special interest, by definition, is an entity that wants some special favor from government. Campaign contributions are given in the hope of getting the special favor. This doesn’t work if the gift or the expense is anonymous.

Comments (8)

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  1. Tom H. says:

    Excellent point. Wasn’t the original purpose of the check off on our income tax returns for public financing of elections to make the funding anonymous?

  2. Ken says:

    I had not thought of it that way before. Obama is making a big deal of the fact that anonymous donors are trying to influence the election outcome. Of course he implies that it’s all for the benefit of Republicans and completely ignores the anonymous spending for Democrats.

    But if the donor is anonymous, he can’t expect any special interest favor in return for his donation.

  3. Erik says:

    We all know the donor is not anonymous to the recipient. The contribution is only recorded as “Anonymous” in a ledger to protect the identity of the donor.

    Now, the issue is, are some of our political class selling out America by infusing foreign money into our national elections and hiding behind a convenient loop hole in the law?

    Are their traitors among us willing to sell out America? Only Karl Rove and the US Chamber of Commerce know for sure.

  4. Devon Herrick says:

    Progressives often decry how corporations, special interests and lobbyists have too much sway over public affairs. Yet, they complain about a system that is their own creation. In a Libertarian world, lobbyists and special interests seeking favors would not exist because they would be powerless to get special favors. Corporations would have no influence if Congress was powerless to redistribute income or tax one party for the benefit of another.

  5. Joe S. says:

    I think that Erik is wrong. I think that a lot of these donors are ideological (e.g. care about their country) and are giving to move the country in one direction or another. They really don’t want any special fabvors in return.

  6. Vicki says:

    I’m with Joe. I think a lot of this giving is general interest giving, not special interest giving.

  7. Erik says:

    Joe and Vicki,
    If that is the case, why is there always a swing in donations to the party that business believes will be in control?

    Or do you believe the ideology of the Republicans and Democrats somehow favors business during different election cycles?

    I tend to believe the obvious. Donors’ either directly or indirectly expect a return on Investment. As they do with any of their investments. Otherwise they could always give their money to a charitable organization that say feeds the poor and take a tax break.

    Instead they scream for tax breaks at the expense of feeding the poor.

    Remember, Corporations are in existence to make money for their investor’s period. They do not care about the direction of our country; they are required to take advantage of our country legally and monetarily by statute.

  8. artk says:

    John Goodman and his NCPA have a “dog in this fight” as they say. If you look at their web site, you’ll find that all their donors are anonymous. Well John, what are you hiding? What are your supporters hiding?