May 7, 2012

Record-Breaking 178,000 Americans Call On SEC To Regulate Corporate Political Spending

One way to tackle Big Money’s role in the political system would be to better regulate corporate political spending. Right now, big corporations can engage in widespread political spending and hide much of it behind opaque bureaucracy. Activists are calling on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue rules that would govern this spending. One way to do this would be to require publicly traded corporations to disclose their political spending.

The Corporate Reform Coalition, which includes many leading advocacy organizations as well as “institutional investors managing a combined total of $800 billion in assets, as well as public officials, legal scholars, good government groups, environmental organizations” — mounted an aggressive campaign to get the SEC to agree to these regulations. As a result, the SEC received a record-breaking 178,000 comments.

“Mandating transparency is well within the SEC’s authority,” said a statement released by the Coalition. “The SEC should help the public and shareholders hold CEOs accountable for what they spend in politics.”