Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations and unions can donate unlimited sums of money to political campaigns, both parties are clamoring to out raise the other. But one lawmaker wants to make sure we know where all that money is coming from. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) has filed a lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to achieve that aim. Van Hollen says disclosure "is essential to our democracy" and without it "special interest groups [will] bankroll campaign initiatives." At the same time, President Obama is contemplating issuing an executive order that would would require federal contractors to disclosure political donations. Some conservatives complain that requiring disclosure could hamper political fund raising for the 2012 election and create a political backlash against donors whose goals differ from that of the current administration. Most estimates put the amount of money being raised for the 2012 election in the billions. Do we need to know where all this money is coming from?
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland's 8th Congressional District); ranking member, House Committee on the Budget
Jeff Patch, spokesperson, the Center for Competitive Politics
Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media & Democracy