This is not one of those laughable Internet conspiracy theories. The senator actually wrote this in an op-ed essay in USA Today on Thursday as his explanation of why the Disclose Act, which would end the practice of secret political donations, is “un-American” and an attempt to limit free speech.
The vast majority of the secret money going into “social welfare” organizations like Crossroads GPS, founded by Karl Rove, is being spent on behalf of Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates, and the Disclose Act is coming up for another vote in a few weeks. So Mr. McConnell needs a new excuse for filibustering it again. But his suggestion that President Obama and Democrats want disclosure in order to compile a list of “enemies” is repugnant.
Corporations love the secrecy provided by Mr. Rove’s group because it protects them from scrutiny by nosy shareholders and consumers. They want a big influence on elections, but without leaving any tracks. People who give directly to political campaigns or super PACs know their donations will be public, and know that disclosure is part of participation.
In a related speech last month, Mr. McConnell said disclosure was an enormous price. Bloggers and cable television hosts have said terrible things about the president’s critics, he said, as if revealing a crime. The Koch brothers, who have pledged $60 million to defeat President Obama, have received some obscene messages, and have even been criticized directly by the president. The obscenity was unfortunate, but did the Kochs really believe they could use their money to dominate the political system and not receive some push-back?
Mr. McConnell’s charge that the president has loosed the Internal Revenue Service on his enemies is breathtaking. After several years of indifference, the I.R.S. is finally examining whether these “social welfare” groups are abusing their tax-exempt status by spending anonymous donations on political attack ads. The senator compares them to the N.A.A.C.P., but Crossroads GPS and the like exist for no other purpose than to run political ads.
That is a clear violation of the tax code, which says political activity cannot be their primary purpose. The I.R.S. is doing its job, at long last, and that’s what has Republican leaders like Mr. McConnell so worried.
Link to the original article on The New York Times