Email exchange re: anonymous political contributions


No big donor would donate anonymously as the(y) need the donee to know who to return the favour to, if they get elected!

Sent from my iPhone

On 27 May 2019, at 6:47 AM, XXXXXXXX wrote:

> It seems like the standard thinking is that anonymous political contributions facilitate corruption. But I am beginning to think that it is the only form of support that is non-corrupting; that reporting requirements are essentially a way to protect(legalize) bribery of established politicians, to know precisely who supports what, and prevent surprises.

> Just hear me out...

> For a political contribution to be effective at corrupting a politician, the receiver has to at least know who contributed it, or what policy it is supporting. If the contribution was anonymized so the receiver had no idea who contributed it, then the only thing they can know is that one or more people likes one of their public positions a lot. The challenge is how to effectively anonymize contributions to the receiver.

> First you would outlaw direct and public contributions - with serious penalties for the receiver and the giver. Specifically, you seriously penalize the giver for any public or private statements that they gave to some candidate. Instead every contestant would have an account set up at the election commission into which anybody can make a contribution. Every so often the election commission would tell the contestant how much money was in his/her account and the contestant could spend the money for whatever legal purpose they choose to spend it on.

> Cash contributions of any amount could be accepted outright, since there is no paper trail.The natural suspicion of lying would make any donaters claim that they paid such money effectively unbelievable to the receiver. Signalling via the donation amount can be blocked by randomizing the timing and completeness of the reported balance. Also, really large cash contributions would be hard to do given current AML laws. Non cash contributions (via check or credit) would record the donater, and if the amount was "large", the donation would be flagged as suspicious and investigated by the commission.

> Kind of upside down, but better than the current system I think. Comments?