Santorum Backer The Latest Millionaire Donor To Abandon Campaign Finance Disclosure

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"Santorum Backer The Latest Millionaire Donor To Abandon Campaign Finance Disclosure"

Foster Friess

Foster Friess

During the Republican primaries, millionaire Foster Friess became a household name for his more than $2 million in donations to the pro-Rick Santorum Red, White & Blue Super PAC. At that time, he told ThinkProgress that he would like to see more flexibility for big donors like himself to give directly to the candidates and full disclosure.

But like casino billionaire and Super PAC funder Sheldon Adelson, Friess has decided he would rather avoid the scrutiny of having his future political spending made public.

CNN reports that Friess “has decided his financial donations in the future will mostly be to [501(c)(4)] groups that do not have to disclose their donors.” He told the network:

I was kind of shocked to see the notoriety, the high profile I got. I didn’t know if I needed that. People looked at me as a villain.

The vast majority of Americans hate the massive influx of “independent” expenditures by Super PACs and secret-money 501(c)(4) groups enabled by the Supreme Court’s 5-4 Citizens United ruling. With the Senate Republican’s successful filibuster of the DISCLOSE Act, donors like Adelson and Friess are free to do what they are doing — simply move their donations to undisclosed groups and spend at will, while the public has no way of knowing who is behind the attack ads they bankroll.

Still, if Adelson and Friess really don’t want to be looked upon as villains, they could spend their money on something else.

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