by Brooke Medina
Vice President of Communications, John Locke Foundation
The charities you choose to invest in aren’t the government’s business. Your contribution history should be protected from bad faith politicians and activists who would attempt to intimidate you into silence. America is no stranger to calls to disclose donor lists of non-profits. During the Civil Rights era, the state of Alabama attempted to force the NAACP to reveal their donors. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of donor privacy.
During a period when “cancelling” people, businesses, and entire states is a preferred tactic, government-mandated donor disclosures would be used as a tool of intimidation, should our legislators forego critical donor privacy protections outlined in Senate Bill 636.
Some activists have tried to taint this bill by suggesting it is a way to shield “dark money” from accountability. That’s a misunderstanding of this bill, at best, but intentionally deceptive, at worst. Donor privacy protections–which would safeguard your information from ill-intentioned groups and politicians–does not overturn existing electioneering laws, and any legislator who says otherwise is wrong.
There are many reasons to support donor privacy, not the least of which is the fact that freedom of association is a fundamental American value. We cannot afford to allow those who would attempt to intimidate and “cancel” North Carolinians for their charitable giving to succeed in violating the privacy rights of citizens.