I have written this oped for the LA Times. It begins:
If you know nothing else about a candidate except that he or she is backed by the Koch brothers or George Soros, it’s often enough to help you make an informed decision about how you want to vote. Unfortunately, this week it became clear that finding out which plutocrats, corporations and interest groups are bankrolling American elections is only going to get harder.
The blog at the indispensable website OpenSecrets.org, of the Center for Responsive Politics, reported Tuesday that the IRS had quietly granted 501(c)(4) nonprofit status to Karl Rove’s political group Crossroads GPS. That implicitly gives a green light to “social welfare groups” to spend enormous sums on political ads, all without disclosing where these groups get their money.
It’s a decision that will hurt our democracy. And it might never have happened if the IRS hadn’t hamhandedly singled out tea party groups for investigation a few years earlier.