The chief counsel of a right-wing organization repeatedly refused to identify the source of its funding as it launches a $1.4 million ad campaign targeting Senate Democrats over President Donald Trump’s impending nomination to the Supreme Court.
On Monday, Judicial Crisis Network announced major ad buys supporting Trump’s pick that will be running in conservative states with Democratic senators, targeting Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL), Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).
During an interview with The Big Question anchor Katy Tur, Judicial Crisis Network chief counsel Carrie Severino repeatedly refused to say who was seeking to influence the make-up of the Supreme Court by paying for the campaign-style political ads.
“Why is the funding for your organization non-transparent?” Tur asked. “Why can’t we know who donates?”
“We are a c4, we have a duty of confidentiality to our donors,” Severino replied, citing a section of the tax code that governs political organizations that do not have a public obligation to reveal donors.
There is no such “duty of confidentiality” to protect donors to such 501(c)4 organizations.
“But if you’re lobbying for a justice, a judge — lifetime appointment — not politicians, it’s a lifetime appointment,” Tur wondered. “Why can’t the American people know who is giving you the money to lobby for those people?”
“We have a policy that we keep our donors confidential,” Severino argued.
“Why can’t people know who your donors are?” Tur asked again. “Isn’t it important to know who’s spending the money?”
“Not everybody has millions and millions and millions of dollars to use for their anonymous speech,” Tur noted.
“Not all of our donors do either, it’s a large network,” Severino claimed, without offering any evidence about who is donating to fund her organization’s political ad campaign during the midterm elections.