Darcy’s Story: The Need for Donor Privacy Protections

Our friends at People United for Privacy have a new video out illustrating the need for strong donor privacy protections for nonprofit groups. Darcy Olson, the president of the Goldwater Institute, helped lead a campaign starting in 2009 to stop the city of Glendale, Arizona from using millions of dollars in taxpayer money to subsidize a new hockey stadium. The next four minutes tells the story of the threats, violence, and intimidation that followed.

When the government forces nonprofit groups to disclose their supporters to the public, they threaten the free speech and free association rights of those involved. Worse, they expose them to retribution by unprincipled political opponents who are willing to use threats and intimidation to get their way. CEI experienced its own version of this—happily, unsuccessful—tactic when we received a subpoena attempting to force us to turn over a decade’s worth of documents relating to our work on climate change, including information on our donors. You can read the story of our fight against that subpoena here.

If you believe Americans should be able to participate in public life without opening themselves up to threats, join People United for Privacy on Facebook.