Even President Obama’s tweet couldn’t save DISCLOSE. The Hill reports on the lack of 60 votes in the Senate to move the legislation to the floor. The Post has some other reactions. But Democracy21 vows to push for consideration in September. Meanwhile, reform groups are also supporting H.R. 4790 (The Shareholder Protection Act of 2010). According to a press release issued by five reform groups,
[t]he legislation would require prior shareholder approval of political spending for publicly held corporations.
Investors should be protected from having their money used to support candidates at odds with their values. Investing has expanded over the past few decades, and today nearly one in every two American households owns stocks. Even our 401k retirement funds are invested in corporate stocks and could be tapped by an over-zealous CEO for political purposes.
When we talk about giving shareholders a say in how their money is spent, we are literally talking about the public, not an elite class of investors.
The Shareholder Protection Act takes this vital step forward in the House at the same time another important measure for increasing disclosure of all political spending by outside organizations – the DISCLOSE Act – moves in the Senate. Both measures are complementary responses to help address the damage of the Citizens United decision.
The Shareholder Protection Act fills the void of lax corporate governance in the new world of corporate domination of campaign financing imposed upon us by the Court, and we applaud Congress for moving the ball forward on this important legislation today.