Like so much that happens nowadays, the minor controversy over a modest proposal to revise Wisconsin’s campaign finance law says more about the political Left and its motivations than it says about the controversy itself.
State Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) has introduced a bill raising to $500 the threshold at which a campaign contributor’s occupation must be disclosed in public records, from the $100 specified by current law. Grothman’s proposal also eliminates the requirement that the contributor’s employer be named.
Naturally, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign is horrified.
We won’t deny finding the Democracy Campaign’s database useful for tracking money contributed to Liberal candidates, but our use of it—criticism of ideas in the public policy debate—is different from the uses made of it by the Left.
Note the Capital Times’ reference to a Madison bank closing in 2011 over concerns about what union protesters might have done, guided to their target by campaign finance records. Note also that Madison police recommended the closing, the idea of securing private property and lawful commerce against mob action evidently being at best secondary to the convenience of protesters. “Nice little bank ya got here. Be a shame if anything happened to it.”
Which is precisely our point. Supposed “good government” operations, in the case of the Democracy Campaign, run by an ex-P-R flack for the Madison school district, tend to reserve their indignation for lawful behavior by Conservatives, overlooking the thuggish tactics of the Left.
We can’t speak for them and claim to know why they’re untroubled that disclosure of contributors’ personal information has triggered boycotts, a/k/a political extortion, and worse. But we can’t help noticing these are things the Left does to the Right, rather than the other way around.