“Trump’s Opponents Want to Name His Big Donors. His Supporters Say It’s Harassment.”


But the Supreme Court’s support for campaign finance disclosure laws has a built-in exemption for people who can show a realistic threat of harassment, and the renewed scrutiny on Trump donors has also raised questions about what qualifies as donor harassment and who is entitled to privacy.

“A big question is, has the internet changed that calculus?” said Richard L. Hasen, a professor of law and political science at the University of California, Irvine. “The general conservative view is that conservatives are being targeted for their general views and that there’s a lot of harassment going on.”…

In the past, Republicans supported disclosure because they opposed public financing of elections and contribution limits. “But then McConnell basically brought the party around to where they haven’t supported efforts to close loopholes in disclosure laws,” Mr. Wertheimer said.

Some legal scholars have argued that in the internet age, when anyone can quickly look up the campaign contributions of their neighbors, it makes more sense to set a higher limit for public disclosure.

“The public doesn’t gain much of an interest in preventing corruption by knowing that one neighbor has contributed to the other party’s candidate,” said Mr. Hasen, the University of California professor. “What we really care about is big money in politics.”


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