Elsewhere online
February 22, 2013

Some Republicans Rethinking Donor Disclosure to Social-Welfare Groups

A handful of Republican members of Congress are reconsidering their opposition to proposals to require nonprofit groups that run political advertisements to identify their funding sources, Bloomberg writes.

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina—who previously joined congressional Republicans in voting against disclosure bills—are working with Democrats on new legislation to require some disclosure by 501(c)(4) social-welfare groups. Such entities spent hundreds of millions of dollars in the last two election cycles, mostly in support of Republicans.

"I saw really for the first time how funding directed in a very anonymous way can so significantly influence an election,” said Ms. Murkowski, who was re-elected as a write-in candidate in 2010 after losing her primary to a Tea Party-backed opponent. "While there is a fundamental constitutional freedom of speech to write that check, there is a discomfort without any transparency."