When the Supreme Court opened the floodgates to unrestricted campaign spending in its Citizens United decision, eight of the nine justices were careful to point out the necessity of robust disclosure requirements. The idea was that disclosure would allow shareholders and citizens to hold corporate donors and the politicians they finance accountable for their political activity.
Now, coming up in the third anniversary of Citizens United, we're seeing hundreds of millions in political spending from totally anonymous sources. By filtering contributions through third-party groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, companies can buy off politicians without leaving any fingerprints
That's why Common Cause and our partners in the Corporate Reform Coalition are thrilled that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) plans to consider requiring publicly traded corporations to disclose their political spending. This would seriously reduce the post-Citizens United flood of dark money, and represent a major victory for campaign finance reformers.
If the SEC decides to move forward, they'll have considerable public support. A recent poll revealed that 81% of Americans think companies that spend money on politics should do so openly. And, the coalition announced just this morning that over 325,000 people have petitioned the SEC in support of requiring public corporations to disclose their political spending.
The SEC's job is to protect shareholders, who have a right to know how companies are spending their money. And, because every American is part owner of our government, we all have a right to know who's bankrolling our leaders.
Lend your voice to the 600,000 who have already spoken up and tell the SEC it's time for transparency.
Office: Common Cause National
Issues: Money in Politics
Tags: Citizens United