In the United States, the secret ballot is a long-standing tradition. But that refers to our choices as voters remaining secret – not to the idea that we don’t know who we’re voting for.
But now we’re living in the world of Citizens United, in which outside groups can pool rich people’s millions with corporations’ millions to influence elections, all without disclosing whose interests they’re promoting.
That’s the case with Crossroads GPS, which is about to file its first-time-ever tax returns, according to the Washington Post. The tax returns show large donations – including two contributions of $10 million each – but don’t reveal the names of the donors. According to the Post:
The tax returns show that Crossroads GPS has collected the vast majority of its donations from the super-rich. The forms show that nearly 90 percent of its contributions through the end of 2011 had come from as few as two dozen donors, each giving $1 million or more. Overall, the nonprofit group raised more than $76 million since it was founded in May 2010 through the end of 2011.
Is this really what’s become of our secret ballot?