Why not disclose political donors? It’s an easy question for those exempt from such exposure. Prop 211 exempts organizations widely known to favor liberals, while setting up donors of conservative organizations for harassment and intimidation. Moreover, it silences those same organizations for months leading up to an election, while allowing the favored group to make their case over and over right up to Election Day.
The ill-titled “Voters Right to Know Act” requires organizations that spend a certain amount of money on political campaigns to disclose donors, but the effect is a hypocritical license to dox political opponents. Consider Brendan Eich, the former CEO of Mozilla who was forced out of his position in 2014 by activist bullies bent on destroying opposing views instead of persuading based on merit. Death threats, and actual assassination plots are not too much for radical activists who demand their political platform, as well as the right to crush those who happen to hold an opposing view. Giving them access to donors of opposing political organizations invites more hostile, event violent division in an already toxic environment.
We cannot deny the cancel culture prevailing today that stacks the cards, filtering out voices that dare to challenge their own, while giving voice to drug cartels, Antifa, and Communist China government propaganda on Twitter and other social media platforms. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted silencing reports on Hunter Biden’s laptop scandal weeks before the 2020 presidential election. YouTube demonetizes conservative voices ensuring popular conservative podcasters receive no revenue from views or advertising. Conservative talk show host and video creator Dennis Prager found no legal relief after YouTube censored over 200 videos based on ideology. Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz doxed an anonymous twitter account holder with which she disagreed.
It’s no wonder authors of Prop 211 wrote the measure to ensure corporate media, big tech, and labor unions would be exempt from the convoluted measure. Powerful labor unions can skirt requirements and shield electioneering efforts under their protected partisan “get out the vote” campaign.
Also, the news media would continue to run one-sided reports, columns, and editorials echoing liberal talking points every day until the primary and the general election without the inconvenience of an opposing view. That is because Prop 211 bars organizations from even naming candidates within 90 days of an election without offering up their donors for harassment and intimidation. Bombarding voters with one party’s messaging while muzzling the others is effectively election tampering – but completely allowable under Prop 211.
Ironically, the authors of Prop 211 are deceiving voters under the guise of exposing deception. If the hypocrisy is not enough, consider the court costs. Prop 211 is quite likely unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled in Americans for Prosperity v. Bonta just last year that the First Amendment protects the anonymous support of political organizations.
If you enjoy the right to express your political views, you must also allow others the same. All Americans are equal under the law and the First Amendment’s protection of free speech is unnecessary if it doesn’t protect controversial speech.
Proponents of Prop 211 deceptively woo voters with a promise to expose “dark money,” without disclosing their own self-serving secrets hidden in the tortuous details of the measure. Proponents claim the act will “shine a desperately needed light on political spending, a light that has been missing in Arizona politics.” But what is missing is full disclosure: Prop 211 hypocritically shelters a favored group of donors, while setting others up for harassment and intimidation. It doesn’t get much darker than that.