By Joseph Tanfani and Melanie Mason
Bradley A. Smith, a Republican and former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, is among those whose views have changed on disclosure. In 2003, he endorsed disclosing donors as a way to discourage corruption by “exposing potential or actual conflicts of interest.”
But later, he said, he concluded that disclosure requirements could be burdensome for citizen groups. And now that campaign reports are posted online, he added, people can easily identify and target their opponents.