11/18/2014 05:46 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Activist Comics: Disclosure

If someone was talking shit about you, wouldn't you want to know who it was? And if it was $145 million worth of shit you were buried under, wouldn't you be outraged and demand to know who was dumping all this excrement on top of you, and why?

Well, here we are: After $145 million of anonymous spending in the midterm elections, the American public remains none the wiser as to who not only wanted to spend fortunes influencing politics, but needed to do it without exposing their identities and their motives. Insomuch as political spending is largely an investment made by eager pay-to-players looking to get a massive return in the form of tax breaks, contracts, or legislative deference, how much worse must these interests be if they need to keep their motives secret?

There are some -- such as Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Thomas, and fulminating lawyer James Bopp -- who believe there should no disclosure on spending in elections at all, because that might expose a particular donor to criticism from others, which then would make them hesitant to give large sums to unpopular causes, and that is JUST LIKE restricting their First Amendment right to free speech.

The perilous equation of money being the same as First Amendment Free Speech was ratified in 1976 by the Supreme Court in a case called Buckley v. Valeo. This rationale was the springboard for the 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. FEC, which said that corporations have as much right as people to spend money in elections, and restricting that in any way is an infringement on those corporations' First Amendment Free Speech™.

It's no wonder why more and more are questioning the very legitimacy of the Supreme Court.

In this edition of Activist Comics, the re-imagined Superman comic book cover serves as a warning to this invisible threat of dark money.


DISCLOSURE is one of the Fix Six solutions included in PAY 2 PLAY: Democracy's High Stakes, out on DVD 12/2, available now in iTunes, Amazon, Vimeo and at Disinfo.