The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is considering a rule that could stem the tide of shadowy corporate money into political advocacy groups, plugging a hole in campaign finance law blown open by the Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.The rule, supported by a broad coalition of advocacy groups, pension funds, academicsand more than 70 members of Congress, surprisingly hinges upon a portion of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, in which Justice Anthony Kennedy says that while the government cannot ban speech ahead of elections based upon corporate identity, it does have a compelling interest in protecting shareholders from unknowingly funding political speech whenever it may occur.
“There is, furthermore, little evidence of abuse that cannot be corrected by shareholders ‘through the procedures of corporate democracy,’” Kennedy wrote, citing corporate free speech precedent set by the court’s 1978 ruling in First Nat’l Bank of Boston v. Bellotti.
As a result, activists are pushing the SEC toconsider a rule that would force all publicly traded companies to disclose their political spending to shareholders, forcing hundreds of millions of secretly-spent dollars out into the open. A petition on the agency’s website has garnered nearly half a million signatures and comments, which The New York Timesnotes is vastly more public comments than any other rule has received in the agency’s history.
Read more @: SEC may force Wall Street to disclose all corporate political donations | The Raw Story
I really really hope this passes. Corporate money in politics is a huge problem but disclosing it would be a victory for transparency and democracy.