Politico reports today, “A liberal non-profit group linked to Harry Reid is launching what it says will be a long-term multimillion-dollar advertising campaign targeting the conservative Koch brothers. The campaign, which is funded by Patriot Majority, kicks off Tuesday with a $500,000 cable television ad buy accusing Charles and David Koch of trying ‘to buy this year’s elections and advance their agenda.’ It marks perhaps the most concerted — and certainly the best-funded — effort by Democrats to make an election issue of the Kochs, or any of the emergent class of conservative mega-donors.”
According to Politico, “Patriot Majority’s ads, which will air nationally on CNN and MSNBC, are part of a campaign called “Stop The Greed Agenda,” which will be supplemented by a website, direct mail and online ads — all directed at the Kochs, for now. ‘We’re going to take them on,’ said Craig Varoga, president of Patriot Majority. His group, which spent more than $1 million boosting Reid during his tough 2010 Senate reelection campaign in Nevada, is the non-profit arm of Majority PAC, the super PAC assisted by Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, and other Senate Democrats.”
Importantly, Politico writes, “Unlike super PACs, though, Patriot Majority is registered under a section of the tax code – 501(c)4 – that allows it to keep its donors anonymous. Varoga wouldn’t reveal the funders behind the new campaign, but he said ‘we already have several million on hand to launch’ the Greed Agenda, which he said would continue after Election Day. He wouldn’t rule out the possibility of eventually targeting other conservative donors, explaining ‘the Koch brothers are leading examples, but they’re not the only example.’”
So in this story we have the perfect distillation of the results of liberal attempts to demand the names of donors to political organizations that disagree with them. They want the names so they can publicly attack people and threaten to do it to others, all while hypocritically refusing to disclose the donors of their own attack effort.
As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell explained in his major speech to AEI about liberals’ threats to the First Amendment, “[I]f disclosure is forced upon some but not all, it’s not an act of good government, it’s a political weapon. And that’s precisely what those who are pushing this legislation have in mind. This is nothing less than an effort by the government itself to exposes its critics to harassment and intimidation, either by government authorities or through third-party allies. And that should concern every one of us. Those pushing the DISCLOSE Act have a simple view: if the Supreme Court is no longer willing to limit the speech of those who oppose their agenda, they’ll find other ways to do it.”
He added, “Charles and David Koch have become household names, not for the tens of thousands of people they employ, not for their generosity to charity, and not for building up one of the most successful private corporations on the planet; but because of their forceful and unapologetic promotion and defense of capitalism. . . . The results have been predictable. The Koch brothers, along with Koch employees, have had their lives threatened, received hundreds of obscenity-laced hate messages, and been harassed by left-wing groups. . . . My own view has always been that if you can’t convince people of the wisdom of your policies, then you should come up with some better arguments. But for all its vaunted tolerance, the political Left has consistently demonstrated a militant intolerance for dissent. Sadly, a growing number of people on the Left, and now within government itself, appear to have concluded that they can’t win on the merits. So they’ve resorted to bullying and intimidation instead. And the potential consequences are grave.”