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"Should People's Political Donations Be Public?"

Dan Solove writes on Concurring Opinions: Pursuant to the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), people's campaign contributions must be accessible to the public. I've long found this to be problematic when applied to the campaign contributions of individuals. Certainly, information must be reported to the government to ensure that campaign contribution limits aren't exceeded. But I don't know why it is the public's business to know what candidates I've given money to and how much. Go to Moneyline CQ or Fundrace2008 or OpenSecrets.org and you can search for the campaign contributions of anyone. You can learn a person's address, occupation, and the amounts he/she contributed and to whom.

I find this problematic for at least two reasons.

1. I believe that the disclosure of people's campaign contributions violates the First Amendment. The First Amendment protects one's right to privacy in one's associations, and campaign contributions often reveal one's political party affiliation. ...

2.Another problem with making the data so publicly accessible is that it facilitates abuse by employers or others who might discriminate against people because of their political views. -- Concurring Opinions

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