To: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
With the Presidential election right around the corner, money is flooding the American political system like never before. Super-PACs, billionaire bankrollers, and shadowy nonprofits are able to transfer huge, undisclosed sums of money to their favored candidates, ensuring that the interests of...…
With the Presidential election right around the corner, money is flooding the American political system like never before. Super-PACs, billionaire bankrollers, and shadowy nonprofits are able to transfer huge, undisclosed sums of money to their favored candidates, ensuring that the interests of a few wealthy individuals eclipse those of average citizens.
We’re tired of secret corporate money and corruption swaying election results. Regardless of the Supreme Court’s ruling in 2010 that allows corporations to spend unlimited amounts on political campaigns, as the SEC you have the power to curb such spending. You can issue a rule requiring corporations to fully reveal to shareholders and the public the amount spent on politics and which candidates are being promoted or attacked. In the interest of full disclosure, the SEC should also post all political spending on its website. Without these rules in place, our political process will continue to lack the transparency of a true democracy.
This petition closed on August 31, 2012.
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2,490 people signed the petition
In what is often referred to as one of the most radical and destructive campaign finance decisions in American history, the 2010 Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United gave corporations the go ahead to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns. The decision, as well as other court and regulatory actions taken since then, have largely deregulated the campaign finance system. As a result, corporations and huge financial moguls are able to funnel millions in campaign cash to advocacy groups – or Super Pacs - that are not required to disclose their donors’ identities to the Federal Election Commission.
Many Americans feel that all of this undisclosed money allows a few anonymous lobbyists to, essentially, buy political support and endorse their favorite candidates at the expense of the 99%. Political activists bemoan the multi-million dollar checks continuously rolling in, claiming that the interests of a few wealthy individuals are unfairly dominating American politics. Yet despite the fact that 6 in 10 Americans say they disagree with the Citizens United ruling and 8 in 10 who think that there is "too much big money" in politics - campaign finance reforms have repeatedly failed to make headway in Congress.
In this money-drenched system, the upcoming presidential campaign already looks to be the most expensive in history. The combined total campaign funds raised by the Romney and Obama campaigns reached a whopping 138 million as of May. Experts predict that come fall, spending could exceed $11 billion – that’s more than double the 2008 total.
Yet there are tangible steps that the Securities and Exchange Commission can take to ensure that our democracy doesn’t fall into the hands of a wealthy, anonymous few. Forcing campaign fundraising groups to make public the identities of their donors would provide transparency to a system currently dominated by secret spending and corporate interests. It’s time to reclaim our democracy from the stampede of mega donor-fueled super PACs!
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