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I think Governor Rick Perry is the conservative Ben Kenobi. I started to title this piece, “Help me Obi Wan Perry, You’re My Only Hope.”
In light of the IRS scandal, you would think that Texas Republicans would not be so foolish as to vote for SB 346 in the state legislature, but apparently they are that foolish.
The legislation, in Texas of all places, would require nonprofits engaged in politics to disclose all their donors. “Shouldn’t they,” you may say. Oh hell no they should not.
In California, those who gave to support Proposition 8 were targeted for harassment. Some were driven from the jobs. Some businesses were boycotted.
In Wisconsin, during the recalls, some businesses that refused to publicly support the recall were targeted for boycotts.
The IRS under Barack Obama has leaked the donors of conservative groups, including a conservative group in Texas.
Requiring nonprofits in politics to disclose their donors sounds great under the rubric of transparency. In reality, we see from the IRS scandal that it is human nature to wield power against foes. Legislators, bureaucrats, and political activists could use donor disclosures to punish those they disagree with using the power of the state.
Frankly, that is why some Republicans in Texas favor disclosure — they want to be able to intimidate conservative groups that have held their feet to the fire. They know if they can intimidate, they can drive donors out of the public arena. If they do that, they can shut down the very organizations making the behave.
Governor Perry should veto SB 346. Should it pass, it would enable the intimidation and bullying of conservatives, driving his very base of support from the public arena. He is now the only hope for Texas conservatives. He is Ben Kenobi.