Opinion

Commentary: Alaska must move quickly on campaign finance laws

No disclosure? No way. Alaska lawmakers, like legislators in the rest of the Union, are trying to figure out what to do about the Supreme Court decision that gives corporations and unions the right to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns — and apparently with no reporting requirements.

One thing our Legislature should not hesitate to do is to require full disclosure by any organization, corporation, union, political action committee or any other outfit or individual spending more than $100 on a campaign in Alaska. That's all-inclusive -- profit or nonprofit, long-standing institutions or associations made for one political season, Exxon Mobil or Alaska Conservation Voters.

The rule should be absolute: If you want to be a political player in Alaska, you have to stand up and be counted. If you can't or won't stand up, don't try to play. The right to privacy rules in the voting booth, not in the public arena.

By disclosure, we mean more than saying "paid for by Americans for Job Security." That's a bone thrown to disclosure by a front group.

Disclosure should indicate who is providing the money -- or, in the case of corporations, unions and other organizations, who is making the campaign spending decisions.

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