What’s at Stake
In this instance, in implementing a key section of a law designed to close loopholes, the FEC actually opened a huge loophole that allows donors to hide their identities. Moreover, by allowing donors to be shielded unless they declare their intent to specifically conduct “electioneering communications,” the regulation invites recipient organizations to ask as few questions as possible in order to maintain maximum flexibility in the use of funds. The proof is in the pudding — since the regulation was promulgated, donor identification has plummeted and the process — rather than being more open — is more secretive.
Van Hollen v. FEC was decided by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.