Liberal Democrats love to rail against the Citizens United ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, suggesting that it is responsible for an out-of-control campaign finance system which allows rich conservatives to manipulate “the game” by making huge secret donations.
Of course, those same rich liberals who complain about the campaign finance “game” were abusing the system long before the four-year-old Citizens United decision. To paraphrase Shakespeare, “hypocrisy, thy name is Democrats.”
In a public radio investigative report last week which outed the Democrats’ permanent campaign attack network for the first time, Nick Hanauer (one the network’s richest Seattle donors) defended the secrecy surrounding the Progress Alliance of Washington by saying, “Until the rules changes – and we’d be very supportive of those rule changes – we’re playing the game by the rules that have been defined.
Of course, Nick was not really telling the truth there, or when he suggests in the story that “the Alliance is not using its IRS status as a way to conceal the identity of its funders.”
Consider a couple of basic facts about Nick Hanauer’s Progress Alliance, which is the hub of the Democrat attack network in our state:
- The Progress Alliance was formed in 2006 – four years before the Citizens United decision was handed down.
- The Progress Alliance’s structure is copied from a similar organization in Colorado – which considers the secrecy of its donors one of the keys to its success.
- The Progress Alliance could reveal its donors if the liberals funding the attack network actually believed in campaign finance transparency – there are no rules requiring secrecy.
- The Progress Alliance goes out of its way to flaunt Washington State public disclosure requirements, by funneling its donations through other groups.
So when you hear liberals like Nick Hanauer – or Ruth Lipscomb, or Paul Maritz, or Maryanne Tagney Jones, or Brian Arbogast, or Denis Hayes, or any of the other Progress Alliance supporters who might admit their involvement – suggest that their group is just “playing the game by the rules”, you might ask them then why they go to such lengths to hide.
You could try visiting them in their office at 1402 Third Avenue, Suite 201 – though the Progress Alliance name is nowhere to be found on that always-locked office door. Evidently that is just one more of the “rules” they proudly follow.