Congress and the Executive Branch should focus on making the work of lobbyists and other paid influencers more transparent.
Money in Politics Disclosure
To uncover the levers of access and influence in Congress and the White House, real time online disclosure of money in politics must become the standard.
- Enact Legislation to Disclose Dark Money in Elections
- Appoint FEC Commissioners Committed to Transparency
- The IRS Should Tighten and Enforce Rules Regarding Electioneering Activities of Nonprofits
- The SEC Should Require Companies to Disclose Political Spending
- Improve the FCC's Political File Database
- Mandate Disclosure of Tax Returns and Bundlers by Presidential Candidates
- Enact Legislation to Disclose Corporate Political Spending to Shareholders
- Require Senators to Electronically File Campaign Finance Disclosure Reports
There is a wealth of government data that must be made accessible to the public.
- Create an Index of Federal Agencies' Major Datasets
- Enact the Public Online Information Act
- Enact the Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act
- Make Congressional Research Service Reports Publicly Available
- Implement the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act
- Adopt FOIA Reforms
- Review the Personal Financial Disclosure System
- Report Earmark Requests from Congress Online
The SEC Should Require Companies to Disclose Political Spending
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) should institute regulations to require publicly traded companies to disclose their political spending.
The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision allowed corporations, for the first time in a century, to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns. Money from corporations’ exceedingly deep pockets is funneled through Super PACs and nonprofit “social welfare” organizations to pay for campaign ads and other political activities with minimal or no disclosure.
Shareholders—the actual owners of the companies—remain in the dark about how their money is being spent. The SEC has the authority and responsibility to craft a comprehensive disclosure regime to ensure that investors in publicly traded companies can make informed decisions about whether companies making political expenditures are acting in the investors’ best interests. Disclosure rules will also provide the public with a better sense of who is supporting their elected officials.