Pearls of Wisdom: Transparency Over Secrecy

Does the United States Congress think that big companies should be able to spend money on politics, secretly?

I have personally urged the SEC to institute rules that when the employees of a company use company money for political purposes, that they be required to inform the owners of the company. I believe that the owners have a legitimate need to know if the employees of their company are using their company money for political purposes, and that requiring that they be informed would discourage employees from doing things that they know the owners would not approve of.

Apparently, the United State Congress disagrees.

While very few people seem to speak publicly in favor of more secret political spending by big corporations, their private support of increased secrecy for political spending may well become the law of the land.

In the draft of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, Division “O” Other Matters, Section 707 Limitation on SEC funds as published by the Rules Committee of the House of Representatives at 1:04 AM Wednesday morning.

None of the funds made available by any division of this Act shall be used by the Securities and Exchange Commission to finalize, issue, or implement any rule, regulation, or order regarding the disclosure of political contributions, contributions to tax exempt organizations, or dues paid to trade associations.

Our democracy needs more transparency, not more secrecy. We believe that there is no need to encourage more money in politics, that there is too much money in politics, so we urge Congress to reject this anti-disclosure rule and to encourage disclosure of political expenditures.

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