Matea Gold for WaPo:
James E. “Trey” Trainor III, the conservative Texas lawyer nominated by President Trump this week to serve on the Federal Election Commission, has challenged the principle that the public benefits from the disclosure of political donors, arguing that voters could be distracted from the content of political messages if they focus on who is financing ads.
Trainor’s stance on disclosure is counter to the position that Trump himself took during the 2016 presidential campaign, when he called for more transparency of donors behind big-money groups. “I don’t mind the money coming in,” the then-candidate told Time magazine in August 2015. “Let it be transparent. Let them talk, but let there be total transparency.”
In media appearances and public forums, Trainor has made the case that the Federalist Papers succeeded in promoting the ratification of the U.S. Constitution because Founding Fathers Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay wrote them under the pseudonym Publius. And he appeared to erroneously suggest that the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision endorsed anonymous political contributions.