Statement of Common Cause President Miles Rapoport on Record One Million Public Comments Urging the SEC to Require Corporate Disclosure of Political Spending

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  • Dale Eisman

“The unprecedented volume and range of support for this proposal demonstrates its importance to shareholders, potential shareholders, and the general public.   The Securities and Exchange Commission should respond to the investor and public mandate by requiring corporations to disclose their use of corporate resources for political activities.   Investors have a right to know whether corporate leaders are acting consistently with their business plans and publicly-stated values.  Disclosure of political expenditures also can expose legal, regulatory and business risks not otherwise apparent to investors. Finally, disclosure serves the public interest; voters have a right to know the people and corporations to whom our elected officials are beholden.”

“The SEC has the authority and the responsibility to protect investors and the public interest.  Today’s record-breaking 1 million comments demand that it act.”

Background: Earlier today, representatives of the Corporate Reform Coalition conducted a press conference outside the SEC to urge the agency to move swiftly on a proposed rule requiring corporations to disclose their political spending.  A petition requesting this rulemaking was filed in 2011 by a bi-partisan committee of leading law professors. The rulemaking was placed on the agency’s agenda by former SEC Chair Mary Schapiro in 2013, but was removed by Chair Mary Jo White earlier this year, sparking outrage among investors and the public.