Put corporate political spending to a vote

Published on

When the US Supreme Court decided to allow corporations to spend
money directly
on campaign advertising, they opened the floodgates to
excessive spending by companies to change the outcome of elections. The
long-term solution is a change to the Constitution, to declare once and
for all that corporations aren’t the same as you and me, and shouldn’t
have the right to buy elections they can’t even vote in. But for now,
Congress can act immediately to temper some of the worse consequences
of the ruling.

Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) has a bill that will be heard this week, called the ‘Shareholder Proection Act,’
that will add some public scrutiny to corporate political spending. His
bill would require CEOs to get corporate political budgets approved by
shareholders every year, and require the board of directors to approve
individual political expenditures. It also would require internet
disclosures of how much the corporation is spending on politics. (More at former Labor Secretary Robert Reich’s blog, here.)

The bill could do more – shareholders should approve every
ependiture, not just the budget, just as every expenditure, not just
the budget, should be made public online – but is still a big leap in
the right direction for more transparency and accountability for
political use of corporate treasuries by company executives.

Consumer Watchdog
Consumer Watchdoghttps://consumerwatchdog.org
Providing an effective voice for American consumers in an era when special interests dominate public discourse, government and politics. Non-partisan.

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