June 1st Public Debate: Do Citizens in a Free Society Have a Right to Privacy in Charitable Giving?

CascadeNewLogoBy Steve Buckstein

Do you donate to any nonprofit organizations such as charities, churches, or think tanks? Would you rather not be subject to possible retribution for supporting what others might think are the “wrong ideas”? Then you won’t want to miss a free public debate on donor privacy the evening of Monday, June 1 in Portland.

As debates on controversial topics such as global warming and gay marriage heat up, there are calls to make organizations espousing views on such issues reveal not only the names of their donors, but their addresses, occupations, and employers, just like political candidate committees must do.

Such disclosures could deter some people from donating at all, thus stifling the free exchange of ideas that helps make our society strong.

Arguing in favor of donor privacy will be James Huffman, Dean Emeritus of Lewis & Clark Law School. Jim was the 2010 Oregon Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Arguing for donor disclosure will be Dan Meek, a public interest attorney in Portland. Dan is Co-chair of the Independent Party of Oregon.

The debate will be moderated by Willamette Week’s Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Nigel Jaquiss.

Join us the evening of June 1 in Portland for this public debate asking whether citizens in a free society have a right to privacy in charitable giving.

Full details and free tickets are available at CascadePolicy.org.

Steve Buckstein is Senior Policy Analyst and Founder of Cascade Policy Institute. Cascade Policy Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research and educational organization that focuses on state and local issues in Oregon. Cascade’s mission is to develop and promote public policy alternatives that foster individual liberty, personal responsibility, and economic opportunity.

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in 1st Amendment, Bill of Rights, Federal Government, First Amendment, Free Speech, Global Warming, Government Overreach, Government Regulation, Marijuana, Marriage, Oregon Government, State Government, Transparency | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Bob Clark

    I wish I could attend this, but there are so many competing political issues going on concurrently, I have to choose other issues over this one.

    It is pretty clear events in and around the City of Portland are driven by forces set in motion decade or more ago; and for those who are lucky enough to have location mobility (which I am not so much), the preferred course of expressing oneself is to vote with one’s feet. Sigh.

  • MrBill

    How would donor privacy work? Surely you’d still have to name who and how much you gave on your tax return. That can expose you to “special treatment” by Uncle Sam and/or Aunt Kate.

    No doubt there have been people who’ve been caught in other people’s crosshairs when their donation records became known. The former CEO of Mozilla comes to mind.

    Maybe the best way is to adopt a tax system where charitable giving is irrelevant to the gov’t, and where charities can keep their donor lists under lock and key.

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