Why Ted Cruz Is Fighting Against Government Transparency
That’s because he doesn’t want you to know who the backers are of his effort to run for president in 2016.
Cruz has placed a hold on the Senate confirmation of Tom Wheeler to head the agency, despite bipartisan agreement to vote on Wheeler without delay. Cruz wants assurances from Wheeler that the FCC won’t follow the law and require disclosure of the real funders for dark-money political groups that clog the airwaves with negative and misleading ads.
These nominally independent 501(c)4 groups plowed millions of dollars into the 2012 elections, and there’s every indication they’ll be back in even greater numbers in 2014.
And while the Federal Elections Commission is limited in its ability to identify the funders of the groups that emerged in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, the FCC has a clear legal path to mandate transparency…
Communications law expert Andrew Schwartzman, who serves as a legal adviser to Free Press, has petitioned the FCC to enforce existing sponsor identification requirements and disclose the names of principal funders in the body of the ads themselves.
Taking this action would let viewers know that an ad from Concerned Taxpayers of America is actually the creation of two multimillionaires: the owner of a Maryland concrete company and a New York hedge-fund manager.
And that scares Sen. Cruz and his supporters in groups like the Koch brothers funded Americans for Prosperity, which raises millions of dollars from anonymous donors to run attack ads against their political foes.