A reader writes:
No, I do not think Stoll has a point at all. Common Cause is a federally-registered 501c3 nonprofit organization. If they go outside their mission, they can lose that status. They also MUST openly and publicly list all donors and sources of income. They must also openly and publicly list all expenses for every single dollar. Their 990 (income tax forms) are available on the Internet for anyone who is interested. This is not true of a private individual at all.
Here is the mission statement for Common Cause:
Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to restoring the core values of American democracy, reinventing an open, honest and accountable government that serves the public interest, and empowering ordinary people to make their voices heard in the political process.
Mssrs Koch, on the other hand, advocate in the shadows for their own extremely narrow, private interests. So how can you agree there is a moral equivalency between a cooperative group funded by rich donors that promotes transparency and good government, and two multibillionaire brothers who work behind the scenes to manipulate the body public to their own advantage?
While George Soros has been reputed to have given as much as $2 million to Common Cause, they have a $10 million budget mostly from dues and subscriptions. And in any case, Common Cause isn't Soros's outfit; they were independent first. And back to the main point of all this, Common Causes' causes don't enrich Soros' businesses.