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Posted at 03:32 PM ET, 01/12/2012

Bringing sunshine to super PACs

Campaign finance doesn’t matter to most voters, but is actually at the heart of what alienates them from the process: the conclusion that the access is for sale and results are driven by those who can buy them.  There are a number of conscientious Democrats and Republicans who care deeply about this issue and have been working on it for many years, Trevor Potter, Tim Wirth, Fred Wertheimer, to name some leaders.

But for every step forward, the system finds the weak spot and opens the loophole. Or a court decision like Citizens United comes along and takes a giant leap back. I agree strongly with Ed that disclosure in real time is essential. But I would go one step further: just as candidates are now required to say that “they approved this message in their own ads,” I would require super PAC ads to have a disclaimer along the lines of “This ad was paid for by. . .” And then name the top three donors to the PAC. This would be even brighter sunshine and a more powerful disinfectant to a system that badly needs it.

By  |  03:32 PM ET, 01/12/2012

 
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