Commissioner Jackson Is Right: Says Investors Need More Information on Corporate Political Spending in Politics

Statement of Lisa Gilbert, Vice President of Legislative Affairs, Public Citizen

Note: Today, Robert Jackson, Jr., commissioner at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, told the U.S. House Financial Services Committee that current laws governing corporate political spending do not give investors adequate information about how corporations spend shareholder money in politics.

It is well past time for the SEC to require corporations to be honest with their shareholders and the public about the money they spend in politics.

It has been almost a decade since the U.S. Supreme Court’s disastrous decision in Citizens United v. FEC made it possible for corporate executives to spend money in politics without investors’ knowledge. Since then, more than 1.2 million comments have come in to the agency calling for transparency on this topic – by far the most on a single issue in the agency’s history.

Simply put, shareholders deserve to know whether huge corporations are using their invested money to shape our elections and public policy – the risks of misaligned political spending to the corporate bottom line is obvious. It’s critical that the agency begin work immediately on the rulemaking for corporate political spending disclosure.