New revelations about the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) illustrate the need for greater transparency by corporations for their political and lobbying spending. The internal documents released by The Guardian show that ALEC has targeted dozens of large corporations for fundraising in 2013, including what ALEC calls “prodigal son” corporations that had previously dropped their membership because of the organization’s controversial positions.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will consider a rule to require disclosure of political spending by publicly traded corporations in April. By putting this rule making on its agenda, the SEC is responding to the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, which ended restrictions on independent corporate spending for public communications that influence elections.
What’s the difference between corporations and teachers’ unions, according to Mitt Romney? Apparently corporations are “people”—at least in the Citizens United definition—and should be allowed to give unlimited campaign contributions and other political donations, while teachers' unions are evil influence peddlers who buy politicians’ favor and shouldn’t be allowed to give campaign contributions.
That’s what you’ve got to infer from his comments Tuesday to an education forum sponsored by NBC, where he told moderator Brian Williams:
This is an excerpt from The Hill, by John Logan, professor and director of labor and employment studies at San Francisco State University.
Conservative activists in California are promoting a deceptive ballot proposition that would increase the ability of business groups and billionaires to dominate state elections. The measure, Proposition 32, claims to be an even-handed effort at campaign finance reform—but nothing could be further from the truth. Prop. 32 (or “Stop Special Interest Money Now,” as its big money supporters prefer to call it) would cripple the ability of unions to participate in politics but have little or no impact on unlimited spending by corporate executives and other wealthy individuals.