Much ado about nothing

Earlier this week, Congressman Joaquin Castro tweeted a list of names and companies of the forty-four people in San Antonio who gave maximum contributions to Donald J. Trump’s campaign. The list and tweet noted that the “contributions are fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders.’”

Castro, who is from San Antonio, listed the names of those individuals. This information is publicly available from the Federal Election Commission, and anyone who contributes to a federal campaign above a certain dollar amount is listed on www.FEC.gov. The cries from the right (and from Maggie Haberman) about “doxing” began immediately. The only problem is that the outcry is much ado about nothing.

Castro did not disclose home addresses or personal contact information or anything else about these forty-four people, whom some on the right described as small business owners. But a close review of the list reveals an executive from USAA, a very large insurance group, and oil company and law firm employees, as well as numerous “retired,” a “homemaker,” and “self-employed” and “entrepreneur” titles.

How lamenting over public information and raising the question is inappropriate or endangering anyone or a free speech violation is beyond understanding or comprehension. Many of these same folks likely rejoiced in the revealing of non-public information that endangered the left, such as the Wikileaks election dump, or had no problem with Valerie Plame being outed.

This is a nothing sandwich, but the right has nothing else to distract from the mess in the White House. Perhaps those on the right are just shocked that any political contributions are still a matter of public record, given Citizens United and the dark money that now poisons our process. But so long as individual contribution limits remain in place (don’t hold your breath, the Supreme Court could soon address them), disclosures will happen, and citizens – elected or not – have the right to express opinions and disclose publicly available information. Those who wish to remain anonymous in this endeavor can take a simple step: don’t contribute to politicians in large amounts.

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