You might know of Jim Messina for his service in the White House -- he was the guy who offered jobs to people to get them to back out of Democratic primaries. He was the backroom guy trying (not very successfully in the case we know of) to affect political outcomes behind closed doors.
Messina is now President Obama's reelection campaign manager, and he got in a little back-and-forth with the Koch Brothers recently. He wrote a fundraising letter accusing them of "jacking up" gas prices for profit. They wrote back a scathing reply which called out the Obama White House for singling out and smearing private citizens for the crime of participating in the political process -- something this White House has been doing ever since the President of the United States trashed the secured creditors of Chrysler in a major nationally televised speech.
Messina has now sent out a second fundraising email, in which he replies to the Kochs:
Their lobbyist in chief responded in an open letter to me. Here's how he defended AFP, which is attempting to influence this election by pumping millions into ads bashing the President:
"... it has tens of thousands of members and contributors from across the country and from all walks of life." Just a couple ordinary folks, pitching in what they can.
I'd like them to prove it. So I wrote back, challenging the Koch brothers -- the same guys who recently called the 2012 election "the mother of all wars" -- to disclose for the public exactly who's behind the millions of dollars they're spending on attack ads.
If I had a line to the Kochs (and I do not), I'd suggest they respond this way: That they'll release their donors names as soon as Obama voluntarily releases...
1) names, numbers and records for all small campaign donations under $200 -- so that we can see how many of them are fake this time;
2) all paperwork related to Fast and Furious and Solyndra that might have been part of internal executive deliberations or otherwise merit some kind of withholding from FOIA under executive privilege.
3) while we're at it, how about Obama's college transcripts?
There is no strict legal requirement that these things be made public -- just as 501c(4) groups are under no legal obligation to reveal their donors. (If you don't like that, you can blame a Supreme Court precedent that was handed down to prevent the bullying of donors to civil rights groups by state governments.)
So let's just call it a voluntary trade of information. Of course, given that the Obama White House frequently fails to live up even to the letter of the law on transparency matters, Messina is probably not the person to make this request of the Kochs or of AFP.
(Speaking of which, Mr. Messina -- my brother graduates from college soon. If you offer him a federal government job, I'd be happy to stay out of whatever Democratic primary you like.)