Nosy neighbors are smarter voters

By Laurie Bennett

September 13, 2012 at 7:54am

The stated mission of the Center for Competitive Politics is to advocate for First Amendment rights.

The organization’s interpretation of free speech is that it should be unfettered by campaign spending limits or disclosure requirements.

Here, for example, is a recent post on the center’s Facebookpage:

CCP Facebook post

Full disclosure: We’re journalists. We’re prone to nosiness. We want voters to read and to question. We think they have a right to know about who’s paying what to get candidates elected and to influence them once they’re in office.

We believe that transparency makes for a more informed electorate and a more sound democratic process.

So in that spirit, we’ve created a Muckety map showing some of the funders of the center, and some of the other organizations supported by those funders.

The the Center for Competitive Politics received more than $1.5 million in donations in 2010, the last year for which tax returns are available.

As the map shows, the center has been funded by the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Richard & Helen Devos Foundation and the Ed Uihlein Family Foundation.

The upper right quadrant of the map shows some of the other groups receiving grants from two or more of these foundations. They include the the conservative watchdog group, Media Research Center, and Americans for Prosperity, one of the biggest secret spenders in the 2012 campaign.

For better viewing and easier manipulation, we suggest that you check out the larger version of the map, where you can also click to more information about each person and organization.

Note: The center’s name is confusingly similar to that of the Center for Responsive Politics, which holds an opposite view about transparency. We use CRP’s site almost every day to check campaign contributions and lobbying activities, and we highly recommend it to every voter.

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