With the U.S. Supreme Court decision recognizing that special interest groups have the same rights as citizens, it’s anticipated that the future will see huge amounts of money spent promoting or opposing candidates, measures and legislative dealings.
The full-page ad running in The Herald opposing the beverage tax serves as an example of what concerned voters will soon be facing. I don’t care about the beverage tax issue, but I do care that special interests will be able to hide their human side from us. Washingtonians Against the Beverage Tax paid for the ad, and the high court said they have that right. But you have no way of finding out who the real people behind it are, or who provided the most funding.
WABT’s Web site reveals that the money is from “an ever-growing group that includes individual concerned citizens and consumers, as well as businesses, suppliers, and retailers.” So, we still don’t specifically know who’s trying to sway our opinion.
It took an investigation to finally learn that the LDS Church was a major funder on California’s Proposition 8 issue. They used pass-through organizations with fancy names to hide their donations. Who will be influencing our issues? Will we always have to wait until after the elections to learn the truth about ad providers? Maybe we should just ignore all of the ads that won’t list the names of the people and special interests they really represent.