The folks over at the Center for Competitive Politics, a right-wing think tank, must think corporate front groups who run campaign ads are totally awesome.
They just issued a poll that they claim demonstrates public opposition to the DISCLOSE Act – even though their own numbers actually demonstrate broad public support for disclosure!
Jesse Zwick over at the Washington Independent skewers the poll – scarily titled, “Voters skeptical of intrusive disclosure.” In particular, questions 9 and 10 are instructive:
9. For interest groups that run political advertisements, information about members and contributors including their name, home address, employer, and occupation should be reported to the government and posted on line for anyone who gives, any amount of money,$200 or more, $600 or more, $1,000 or more, or more than $10,000.
21% Information about an interest group running political advertising members and contributors should be reported and posted for any contribution
13% For contributions over $200
10% Over $600
23% Over $1000
20% More than $10,000
13% None of this information should be reported to the government or posted online
So … 67 percent of the public thinks donations of more than $1,000 should be disclosed. Seriously, when was the last time you saw 67 percent of the public agree on anything like this? Oh wait, there’s question 10, where 68 percent of the public agree:
10. By law, interest groups that sponsor political advertising must include the name of their group in the advertisement, in addition to filing public reports with further information on the group and the ad. There is discussion to also require the leader and the largest donor to the organization both personally appear in the ad, identify themselves, and state that they approve the ad. Would this additional information allow you to better judge the credibility and accuracy of the ad?
68% This would be of some or great value in better understanding and judging the ad’s accuracy and credibility
22% This would be of little or no value in better understanding and judging the ad’s accuracy and credibility
10% Not sure
One would think an organization with the purported mission “to educate the public on the actual effects of money in politics” would not spend its time deliberately attempting to mislead the public.