Disclosure is the solution to much of what ails our democracy, not the problem. Those in Congress who are opponents of transparency not only trample on the right of Americans to know who is trying to influence our vote; they run afoul of the very nature of free and open elections.
The basic lifeblood of a democracy is information. And in a system of privately funded elections, it is essential to have real-time information on where candidates are getting their money. Knowing this tells us something about what they stand for, and whom they are spending their time with.
While its not likely to stifle the flood of money being spent on political ads, the FCC's online file will help shed light on the groups that are spending so much -- giving voters more clarity on who's trying to influence their choices at the ballot box.
If there can be such a thing as a typical American billionaire, David H. and Charles G. Koch do not fit that bill. They are not just among the richest Americans -- $100 billion and counting. They are deeply political libertarian industrialists.