Frequently asked questions
Q: We vote by secret ballot. Why shouldn’t we be able to contribute to candidates in secret too?
A: Every person has a single, equal vote. But when you give a large sum of money to a candidate or spend it on his or her behalf, the candidate gains a powerful incentive to give you special treatment. Disclosure lets voters know to whom their elected officials are beholden.
Q: I don’t see eye-to-eye with my employer and some of my co-workers when it comes to politics. If my political contributions are public, I could lose my job or become a target for harassment.
A: This kind of retribution is rare and often illegal. Federal law bans discrimination against federal employees based on political affiliation; many states and localities have similar laws that protect all their residents, not just public workers.
Your co-workers may shun or criticize you because of your politics – that is their free speech right – but they may be subject to criminal or civil penalties if they engage in actual harassment