A loose coalition of elected Democrats, shareholder activists and pension funds has flooded the SEC with calls to require publicly traded corporations to disclose to shareholders all of their political donations. This is a move that could transform the growing world of secret campaign spending. SEC officials have indicated that they could propose a new disclosure rule by the end of April. This could set up a major battle with business groups that oppose the proposal. They are preparing for a fierce counter attack if the agency’s staff moves forward with the new rule.
A petition to the SEC asking it to issue a rule has garnered close to half a million comments. Very few petitions actually result in action from the SEC, the committee staff did file notice last year that it was considering a recomemdation for a new rule. In response to the growing pressure, House Republicans introduced legislation recently that would make it illegal for a commission to issue any political disclosure regulations applying to companies under its jurisdiction. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Business Round-table, issued a rare joint letter to the chief executives of Fortune 200 companies, encouraging them to stand against the proxy regulations and other proposals from shareholder activists demanding more disclosure of political donations.
Republicans do not think that shareholders have the right to know where their investment money is being spent. Even in the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, public disclosure was considered the proper check against abuse. Obviously Republicans do not respect Supreme Court rulings, see Roe vs. Wade. Republicans are afraid of Americans finding out how much corporatemoney is flooding Congress. How it is affecting votes like the Universal Background Checks, Raising Minimum Wage and Equal Pay for Women. When we find out which Senator/Republican is bought and paid for, because they know elections have changed. They will not have a job if we find out.
Under legislation introduced by Senator Robert Menedez (NJ-D) and Representative Michael Capuano (MA-D), companies could nth make political donations unless a majority of their shareholders agreed. It would require shareholders to approve a political budget, the board of directors to approve each expenditure over $50,000 within the budget and public disclosures of campaign spending on a quarterly basis. “Individual citizens should determine the outcome of our elections, not multi-billion dollar corporate interests, or worse a foreign government, so its time we pass this legislation to give shareholders a voice over how their corporate dollars are spent.” Menedez said.
Non profit groups such as trade associations that do not disclose their donors spent more than $300 million in the 2012 elections, most of it on behalf of Republican candidates. While some publicly traded companies voluntarily disclose their donations, most do not.
Democrats get more from everyday Americans, the majority, and Republicans get more from corporations, the minority. That there shows why they vote against American people. Many Americans are afraid of the Republican platform, the ideals and morals that they portray. If a Congressman recieves money from a company, they should not be allowed to vote on anything involving that company. It is a conflict of interest. A lawmaker is put there for the people, not the scratch.
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