This is a continuation of a prior post concerning initiatives to fight big money in politics. In that post, 4 initiatives were discussed in which action can be taken to reduce the influence of big money in politics and in our government or, at least, bring attention to that need. This post discusses 4 more initiatives.
5. SEC Regulation
This initiative involves soliciting the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a rules change in order to provide more transparency in corporate political spending. One of the arguments used by the Supreme Court in substantiating its Citizens United decision was that there would be full disclosure and transparency in corporate political spending, so there was no need to worry. However, this has turned out not to be the case. Because of the dysfunctional Federal Election Commission (FEC), disclosure rules are becoming more and more ineffective because of all the loopholes. Even Congress tried to pass a law requiring all publicly traded corporations to disclose their political spending, but has twice failed. Many are now looking to the SEC to act. Since the SEC has rulemaking authority in this area, it has the power to require disclosure. Continue reading
Posted in Money in Politics
Tagged big money in politics, Center for Political Accountability, Citizens United, corporate political accountability and disclosure, disclose political spending, dysfunctional Federal Election Commission, FEC, initiate a shareholder resolution, initiatives to fight big money in politics, SEC, shareholder resolution to require disclosure, Stamp Stampede, transparency in corporate political spending
According to Lawrence Lessig of Rootstrikers, the biggest obstacle that we face in fighting big money’s influence in our political system and government is not organized opposition from the other side. It is the pervasive feeling that we are powerless to change this. People think that there isn’t anything they can do to make a difference. If we think like this, nothing will ever change. There were many in the beginning who thought that the civil rights and gay rights movements in the U.S. and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa would fail. Every successful movement that has ever taken place in the world started out with many people feeling powerless to change things.
Sometimes it is a matter of not knowing what to do to effect change. In this post and the next, there will be 8 initiatives discussed in which action can be taken to reduce the influence of big money on our political system and government. National groups are leading some of these efforts. These initiatives include amending the U.S. Constitution, reforming campaign finance, placing limits on lobbying, disclosing corporate political spending, and enforcing existing campaign finance laws.
1. The American Anti-Corruption Act
One initiative is being led by Represent.us to place limits on lobbying, political donations, and PACs. The details of this initiative are encompassed in the American Anti-Corruption Act. The Act is a citizen-sponsored bill that will be introduced in Congress once one million Americans have signed up to co-sponsor the bill. Click here to read and co-sponsor the Act. Continue reading
Posted in Money in Politics
Tagged amend the U.S. Constitution, American Anti-Corruption Act, campaign finance reform, Citizens United, Fair Elections Now Act, Government for the People Act, grassroots contributions, initiatives to fight big money in politics, Lawrence Lessig, New Hampshire Rebellion, public financing of elections, Rep. John Sarbanes, Rootstrikers