As lawmakers frantically negotiate a last minute budget deal to avert a government shutdown, Republican lawmakers are attempting to use the standoff to help corporations hide their political spending. Any agreement to keep the government running, GOP leaders insist, must include a provision that blocks regulators from requiring companies to fully disclose their political spending to their own shareholders.
“The American people want to know if giant corporations are buying politicians,” Massachusetts’ Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “The Republicans don't want you to know. They are saying they will shut down this government before they will let the SEC make corporations tell about the secret money they are pushing into political campaigns.”
The debate centers on what, if any, power the SEC should have to force publicly traded corporations to disclose which politicians and political groups they give money to.
... Democratic senators were not willing to let the campaign funding rule hold up the entire budget. The bill passed the Senate passed late Wednesday. It will now move to the U.S. House. [emphasis mine]
Of course, it isn't a Demopublican / Republicrat issue. Both parties are entrenched in this corrupt system and neither presidential candidate will do anything about it if elected. Most corporations give to both parties, they are not exercising free speech, they are hedging their bets. Both parties give lip service to campaign finance reform, which always leaves loopholes that allow the problem to grow even worse. This is by design. Most legislation passed doesn't help the American people, it's for special interests. Legislators spend most of their time pandering for campaign contributions. Everybody but the 1% and the large corporations would be better served by publicly funded elections. Mayday.US is funding a superpac to end all superpacs and wolf-pac wants to overturn Citizen's United, but neither solution will completely solve the problem. When the issues are broken down, most people (over 80%) regardless of ideology or party agree that something needs to be done to get money out of politics, but a few wealthy interested parties keep blocking progress. If the people don't flex their collective muscle, nothing will change. What's going on in DC and the individual states is criminal and should be treated as such.
Well said, Sky, but for your final sentence.
It's not criminal until governments, or the people in states with the direct initiative, make it criminal.
As I recall, eighteen states have the direct initiative.