The Wall Street Journal has an important editorial, noting the efforts made by lefties to pressure the SEC into regulating public securities markets in a way designed to discourage private companies from supporting independent groups. This would result in a win for Democrats, as no similar efforts were being made to regulate the contributions of (predictably liberal) labor unions.
Check this out:
Last year politicians like then-Rep. Barney Frank and liberal tax-exempt groups like Public Citizen were encouraging the SEC to demand more disclosure from public companies about the organizations they support. Staff for Mr. Frank specifically told the SEC that, "There is particular interest in what the authority is for disclosure of 501(c)(4) contributions (political contributions)." Mr. Frank's staff also noted that the interest was coming from the House Democratic leadership.
To their credit, some of the SEC staff pushed back.
But decent Americans -- of all political stripes -- have big problems (1) when bureaucrats (who, because of their unions' outsized contributions to Democrats) have a rooting interest in partisan politics . . . and (2) when the government officials who are supposed to be overseeing them care more about partisan advantage than fair play -- and protecting the Constitution's guarantee of free speech.
The new head of the SEC, Mary Jo White, has a reputation for honesty and fair dealing. It will be interesting to see how she responds to these disclosures.
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