Warner, Kaine push SEC to require companies to disclose political spending to shareholders

warner kaineU.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) today pressed the Securities and Exchange Commission to require public companies to disclose political spending to their shareholders, a move that would increase transparency in the U.S. political process following the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision that unleashed unlimited corporate spending into American elections.

Without requirements for disclosure, corporate political spending can become “dark money” that influences elections without voters being able to see the source of the money or take into account what special interests may be behind it. In a letter sent today to SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White, Sens. Warner and Kaine wrote that requiring public corporations to disclose their political spending to shareholders would bring “much needed accountability to shareholders and transparency to corporate political spending.”

Wrote the Senators, “We believe this is consistent with the SEC’s requirement for public companies to disclose meaningful financial information to the public. We strongly disagree with the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC that allowed unlimited and unchecked corporate spending on campaign ads and various other political communications. This reversed long-standing precedent and has moved our country in a different and disturbing direction when it comes to corporate influence in politics.”

After a record number of people signed a petition asking for the SEC to address shareholder disclosure of political spending, the SEC added the item to its rulemaking agenda for 2013. The rule was never completed, however, and in 2014, it was pulled from the SEC’s docket with little explanation.

In today’s letter, the Senators wrote, “We add our voices to the many who have expressed frustration and disappointment that the SEC decided to remove this issue from its regulatory agenda entirely…. We ask that you make this a top priority for the SEC in the near term, and inform us of the basis for your decision should you not plan to include it on the Commission’s agenda for the upcoming year.”

In addition to Sens. Warner and Kaine, the letter was signed by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chris Coons (D-DE), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Gary Peters (D-MI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Bob Casey (D-PA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tom Carper (D-DE), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Harry Reid (D-NV), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).



augusta free press
augusta free press news

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Buy here.

AFP Business

As professional consultants, Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including website design, SEO, TV/radio, video work, branding and logos, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation. Augusta Free Press LLC was founded in 2002.

Web Design

Augusta Free Press has designed more than 800 websites for clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design, content development and SEO. Short on staff? We’ll work with you to update your AFP-designed website in a timely manner or train your staff to make changes.

Marketing/Social Media Management

Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.

Graphic Design

Augusta Free Press will help you take your vision to the next level. From branding and logos to print materials, our team will work with you to develop products to showcase your business. From brochures and rack cards to full-color magazines or print/digital ads, we’ve got you covered.

Event Planning/Fundraising

Augusta Free Press will help you plan the best event for your organization. From an open house or anniversary to a 5K or Pay Per View, we can handle it all. Looking for training for your sales staff? We can help energize your employees or board. Need ideas to raise more money? Let us help you plan a successful event. Want to hold a news conference or need help with a press release? We can do that too.

Click here for more.