Some are More Equal than others
compiled by Ben
Socialist Workers Party National Campaign Committee and committees
supporting candidates of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) remain exempt
from some FEC disclosure requirements for political committees. See
advisory opinion AO 2003-2:
Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976), the Supreme Court recognized that,
under certain circumstances, the Act’s disclosure requirements as
applied to a minor party would be unconstitutional because the threat to
their First Amendment rights resulting from disclosure would outweigh
the interest in disclosure. According to the Court’s opinion, “minor
parties must be allowed sufficient flexibility in the proof of injury to
assure a fair consideration of their claim [for a reporting exemption] .
. . The evidence offered need only show a reasonable probability that
the compelled disclosure of a party’s contributors’ names will subject
them to threats, harassment, or reprisals from either the government or
private parties.” 424 U.S. at 74.
Socialists defend right to
campaign in elections - excerpt from The Militant,Vol.
67/No. 6, February 17, 2003
BY PAUL PEDERSON (http://ww.themilitant.com/2003/6706/670650.html)
The SWP won the exemption on the basis of the threat to First Amendment
rights to free association posed by the disclosure of campaign
party’s recent request for extension of this protection cites 74
examples of harassment and threats--all since the previous extension was
granted in 1996--directed at supporters of the Socialist Workers Party
by right-wing individuals and groups, employers, and city, state, and
federal police. It includes corroborating newspaper clippings, police
reports, citations, and individual declarations.
The examples of harassment include 28 cases of police interference with
election campaign activities, such as stopping campaign supporters from
distributing literature, threatening to arrest campaign workers,
photographing participants in an antiwar demonstration, issuing
citations, and in many cases expressing hostility to the views of the
socialists and their right to present them publicly.
Dozens of other
examples are cited of threats and disruption, such as office break-ins
and vandalism, threats by bosses, death threats and physical assaults such as the overturning
of campaign tables by right-wing or racist individuals.
End of excerpt
It is often useful to
examine exceptions to rules when attempting to understand their
necessity. The following thoughts come to mind when contemplating this
this a great country or what? We bend over backwards to accommodate
those who would destroy our way of life.” If you want to overthrow the
government of the United States and replace it with a Communist
Dictatorship you are exempt from Federal Election Commission regulations
that require the disclosure of personal information.
But, if all
you want to exercise first Amendment rights, by coordinating with
others to effectively communicate your ideas, promote candidates of your
choice and petition the government for lawful change you must disclose
your full name, mailing address, occupation and the name of your
Under the Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act), political committees
are required to file reports with the FEC disclosing their receipts and
disbursements, including the identification of individuals and other
persons who have made contributions aggregating $200 or more during a
calendar year. 2 U.S.C. §434(b)(3), (5) and (6). According to FEC
regulations, identification, in the case of an individual, includes his
or her full name, mailing address, occupation and the name of his or her
employer. Under the Act, the treasurer of a political committee is
required to put forth his or her best efforts to obtain this
This Vietnam Veteran
fought the communist and paid the price for full disclosure:
Non-adjacent paragraphs excerpted from:
"Live" with TAE
One of the most dramatic stories of Election 2004 was the coalescence of
a large group of Vietnam veterans dedicated to the idea that John Kerry
was not fit to become America's Commander in Chief. Many of those who
joined Swift Boat Veterans for Truth had served with Kerry in Vietnam.
And his behavior there--and, even more, upon his return--convinced them
that Kerry could not be trusted to lead our nation in wartime.
The very first ad we filed began with a man named Al French, a very
highly decorated Vietnam veteran, who served as a prosecutor in
Clackamas County, Oregon. Immediately, 23 different complaints were
filed with the state bar of Oregon against Mr. French. In addition, he
was fired from his job in Oregon as an assistant prosecutor supposedly
on the basis of a ten-year-old complaint that had never been processed
by his boss before that time.
End of excerpt
Balance the above with
Parties and Candidates Be Exempt from FEC Reporting?
By Brian Carnell - Monday, July 21, 2003
Why should minor party donors, be exempt from this so long as every
other donor is required by law to have this information disclosed?
Imagine, for example, that the CEO of BASF decided that he wanted to
donate a large amount of money to the campaign of some minor party whose
basic platform was white supremacist in nature. Why should that party be
able to obtain an exemption and hide such donation's from public view
simply because the ideas of the white supremacist party are unpopular
(and would certainly subject the donor to likely harassment) -- while at
the same time all of the donations to major parties would be revealed in
a nice table layout on a web page?
End of Excerpt
Anonymous political speech goes back to the very beginning of our
country with the publishing of the Federalist Papers. King George
wanted every American press to have a unique number carved in its platen
so every printed page could be traced back to the source. America
rebelled. Could the rebellion succeed today?
Irregardless, the law
should apply equally and to all. The SWP exemption, granted by the FEC,
is contrary to 5th Amendment due process and State Election Boards that
permit similar exemptions run afoul of the equal protection clause of
the 14th Amendment.