The Securities and Exchange Commission is being flooded with support for a proposed regulation that would undo at least some of the effects of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission — which opened the floodgates to often secret corporate political contributions that threaten to swamp American elections.
The proposed SEC regulation requested by a committee of professors on corporate law would require “public companies to disclose to shareholders the use of corporate resources for political activities.” In other words, even if corporate executives now earmarking company money for political candidates and parties would not have to reveal the recipients to the public or the media, they would have to disclose the amounts and recipients to stockholders. The SEC has been considering the rule since it was proposed in August.
First a little history. The 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, popularly known as McCain-Feingold, prohibited corporations and unions from using their general treasury funds to make independent expenditures for an “electioneering communication” or for speech that expressly advocates the election or defeat of a candidate.