Tag: shareholder proposals for political spending disclosure

What’s happening with corporate political spending disclosure?

I have to admit I was surprised to read that, in the new $1.5 trillion budget bill, Congress has once again prohibited the SEC from using any funds for political spending disclosure regulation.  But there it is—Section 633—in black and white: “None of the funds made available by 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.”  That means that, for now anyway, private ordering—through shareholder proposals at individual companies and other forms of stakeholder pressure, including humiliation—will continue to be the pressure point for disclosure of corporate political contributions.  Those proposals have grown increasingly successful in the last couple of years. And, notably, it appears that the focus of many proposals has shifted recently, with more emphasis on apparent conflicts between stated company policies and values and the beneficiaries of those political contributions.