Sending Office: Honorable Andy Levin
Original Cosponsor Deadline: Monday, February 11th COB
Supported by: Public Citizen, End Citizens United Action Fund, Common Cause, Union of Concerned Scientists, People Demanding Action, Voices for Progress, Newground Social Investment, U.S. Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG), and Corporate
Current Original Cosponsors: Sarbanes, Gallego, Norton, Wild
I invite you to join me as an original cosponsor of the Transparency in Corporate Political Spending Act, a critically needed campaign finance reform measure that will finally shed light on corporations’ political spending.
The premise of this bill is simple: shareholders of corporations should have knowledge of corporation political activity. Secret corporate spending poses a threat to our democracy and to investor confidence. Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s
2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC allowed corporations to make unlimited political contributions, investors and citizens concerned about the future of American democracy have looked to the SEC to require corporate disclosure of political spending.
Given that corporate shareholders do not approve decisions on how their money is spent on politics, the need for more disclosure that allows for sound investment decisions has emerged as a bipartisan issue. Additionally, beyond investors, ordinary Americans
concerned about the current course of our democracy are tired of not knowing who is really financing our elections.
In 2011, a bipartisan committee of leading corporate and securities law professors filed the first petition requesting rulemaking at the SEC requiring all public companies to disclose their political expenditures. The agency received an historic 1.2 million
comments regarding the rulemaking petitions, which overwhelmingly affirmed investor and citizen desire for more transparency in political spending. After the rulemaking was placed on the agency’s agenda in 2013, the process was stalled by the SEC’s previous
chair in 2014 and was obstructed again via a policy rider into the past two appropriations bills that prohibits the SEC from finalizing the rulemaking on corporate political spending disclosure. With different leadership at the SEC and with
the opportunity to protect our democracy in this 116th Congress, the time has come to remove the inappropriate policy rider. This bill would do just that.
Corporations should not be allowed to continue to spend secretly to influence politics. While some companies have come to understand this and have responsibly begun disclosing some or all of their election-related spending, an SEC reporting rule is critically
needed to make disclosures uniform. I urge you to cosponsor this bill to lift the senseless ban preventing the SEC from moving to require transparency in corporate political spending.
To cosponsor this bill, or should you have any questions, please contact Abbas Alawieh at 202-603-1581 or at
Abbas.Alawieh@mail.house.gov. Thank you for your consideration and support.
Member of Congress
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0