Some are More Equal than others
compiled by Ben DoubleCrossed


More Equal


The 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:


In 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 


The SWP won the exemption on the basis of the threat to First Amendment rights to free association posed by the disclosure of campaign contributors’ names. The 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 exemption:


Is 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. 


Less Equal


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 employer.


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 information.


This Vietnam Veteran fought the communist and paid the price for full disclosure:


Non-adjacent paragraphs excerpted from:

"Live" with TAE -
John O'Neill


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 this scenario:


Excerpt from:

Should Socialist 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.