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Sunlight disinfectant

Published November 14, 2012 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

With the election passed, and hundreds of millions spent by secret billionaire donors in superPACs on both sides, it's time to reform the law so people can follow the money. If candidates must take responsibility for their ads, donors should take responsibility for their gifts.

The Supreme Court says free speech means you can't limit what a person or a corporation spends for candidates, but we can require transparency. After all, when someone speaks, we know who said it.

The day a political action committee cashes a donation check it should be required to post it on the Federal Election Commission's website so anyone can see who is giving and for what.

We don't want our election system run by a few unnamed individuals. We got rid of smoke-filled rooms in favor of public primaries; the least we can do with political money is attach names to it. As Justice Louis Brandeis famously uttered: Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Republicans have been dragging their feet on this. Sen. Orrin Hatch campaigned on the premise that his seniority gives him clout. Well, senator, use it. Reach across the aisle in that bipartisan fashion you boast about, and shine some much-needed light.

Matt Rush

Salt Lake City