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SEC To Require Businesses To Disclose Donations

From The Hill:

SEC nears decision on requiring businesses to disclose donations

By Ben Goad | May 14, 2013

The Securities and Exchange Commission under new chief Mary Jo White is approaching a crucial decision on whether to require publicly traded corporations to disclose their campaign spending to shareholders.

If pursued, new disclosure rules could have major ramifications for both political spending on elections and the increasingly influential regulator.

Roughly half a million public comments about the proposal have poured into the agency, the overwhelming majority of which argue that shareholders have a right to know how companies involve themselves in politics.

And roughly 99% of these public comments have come from Organizing For Action and other Democrat professional ‘astroturf’ groups.

Opponents dismiss the outcry as the handiwork of a few partisan groups, and they contend the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is ill equipped to wade into the campaign finance issues, which are usually the jurisdiction of the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

Enter White, a former federal prosecutor who took the helm of the SEC at a time when the agency already faces a daunting set of responsibilities…

“If Mary Jo White wants her tenure to be one of leadership and results, she needs to demonstrate her commitment to put shareholder protection above politics and immediately enact a rule mandating full disclosure of corporate political spending,” said Bill de Blasio, founder of the Coalition for Accountability in Political Spending.

The Coalition for Accountability in Political Spending is a Democrat front group that was created to try to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Even their webpage says that their mission is to: "Serve as the national convener and leader for the groups working to curb the negative impacts of Citizens United."

The coalition has helped corral comments in favor of the proposal in the name of transparency and protection for shareholders. Roughly 500,000 comments were submitted, the most ever for an SEC proposal.

Which should be a tip-off as to how totally ginned up this is.

Business groups and an assortment of congressional Republicans are urging the SEC to drop the idea.

“This rule-making petition is being pushed by groups who do not have the best interests of investors in mind,” U.S. Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman Blair Latoff Holmes said. “Instead, they are pushing for a rule because they ultimately want to drive the business community out of the political and public policy arena.”

That is the entire idea. And, short of that, they want the names of donors to conservative causes so they can stalk them and harass them and sic their government thugs on them. (Cf. Frank VanderSloot.)

The debate is rooted in the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision, which allowed corporations to spend freely on politics from their general treasuries. Much of that spending has flowed to tax-exempt organizations that are not required to reveal their donors…

Corporate-disclosure advocates have pressed the SEC since August 2011 to consider the new requirements. In December, the agency revealed it was looking into the idea and said a decision was expected by May…

Opponents of the new requirements argue that the SEC does not have the expertise necessary to properly craft disclosure requirements. “Campaign finance reform is not, has never been, and should never be a function of the SEC,” Chamber spokeswoman Latoff Holmes said.


The Chamber, along with 30 other trade associations and other business groups, submitted extensive comments in opposition to the proposed regulations. Along with two other business heavyweights — the National Association of Manufacturers and the Business Roundtable — the Chamber also issued a joint letter calling on Fortune 200 companies to unite against the proposal.

Opponents warn that additional disclosure rules would have a chilling effect on free speech, an argument likely to get more attention following the recent revelations that the Internal Revenue Service singled out conservative groups for added scrutiny of their tax-exempt status…

But clearly we have nothing to worry about. Only yesterday Obama expressed his outrage that the government would do anything that might chill free speech. So we have nothing to worry about. (This is bitter sarcasm.)

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, May 14th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “SEC To Require Businesses To Disclose Donations”

  1. mr_bill says:

    This is nothing more than an end-run around the law. The non-profits are not required to disclose their contributors, so the statists want the contributors to have to disclose their donations. It’s a violation of the spirit of the law, if not the letter. The IRS proved that the government cannot be trusted with this information. The SEC doesn’t need it. Is the SEC going to require unions to disclose their donations to liberal groups? Maybe all these butthurt statists should just pretend that these corporate donors are entitled to the same level of secrecy as publicly-funded healthcare exchanges like the one in Kal-ee-forn-ee-uh http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/09/california-health-exchange-secrecy_n_3247617.html

  2. GetBackJack says:

    I live off pine nuts, bark and crick water. Want nothing to do with no damn government.

    Just like my rebel Confederate kin who laid down their lives trying to stop the Beast Now Consuming Us.

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