By Edwin Bender
With its Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court clearly articulated the value of disclosure and transparency to the health of our democracy. After all, transparency is the best disinfectant, to paraphrase Justice Louis Brandeis’ famous quote.
Sadly, the type of transparency and disclosure envisioned by the justices doesn’t exist. Getting to the level that allows citizens to sleuth out actual “corruption” – the Supreme Court’s new test for regulating political speech – will take efforts and resources equal to deciphering the human genome.
Let me be clear, it can be done. In New York City, candidates and committees report their political donors, and every filing is audited for accuracy and compliance with regulations. The city pairs public contractor and vendor information with political donor information to reveal potential overlaps; auditors and lawyers . . .