Friday, February 1, 2013

To the SEC: Put corporate political spending on your agenda

After unprecedented public pressure, the Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced they're working on a rule to require publicly traded corporations to disclose their political spending. But in the face of a right-wing backlash, we need to make sure the SEC follows through.
Click below to submit a public comment:
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Dear Jim,
The U.S. Supreme Court's disastrous Citizens United v. FEC ruling has allowed corporate CEOs to unleash a torrent of secret corporate spending into our political system.
Indefensibly, CEOs are able to keep both the public and their own shareholders in the dark about the use of company funds for political ends.
And the results have been absolutely corrosive to our democracy.
Fortunately, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is empowered to enact disclosure requirements for publicly traded corporations.
And recently, after unprecedented amounts of public pressure, including over 150,000 public comments submitted by CREDO activists, the SEC announced it is working on a rule requiring corporations to disclose their political spending.
We helped put this disclosure rule on the agenda, but we need to speak out to make sure it stays there.
Corporate giants routinely launder their political spending by funneling it through politically active intermediaries like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Petroleum Institute.
So it's no surprise that these political heavyweights and other right-wing groups are fighting back and pushing hard for the SEC to abandon its plan to issue a disclosure rule on corporate political spending.
It was already a huge lift to get the SEC to put this issue on the agenda.
In the face of this right-wing backlash, we need to continue to demonstrate strong public support for ending secret political spending.
To be clear, what we really need is to get all corporate money out of politics, to roll back Citizens United, end corporate personhood and institute public financing of elections. And we are working hard toward those long-term goals.
But in the short term, given how corrupt the system is, disclosure of corporate political spending would be a meaningful, though small, step forward. And it's one we can achieve.
While the likes of the Wall Street Journal's editorial board are opposed to this idea, it's actually a commonsense idea that is not especially ideological.
In fact, nearly 60% of the S&P 100 companies already voluntarily disclose their political spending to investors. And in 2011, of the remaining S&P 100 corporations, 25 had shareholder votes about political spending issues.
Already one SEC Commissioner has come out in favor of the idea. We just need two more to agree.
Tell the SEC: Don't let corporations hide their political spending. Click the link below to submit a public comment.
Thank you for speaking out. Your activism matters.
Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Click below to submit a public comment:
Take action now ►

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