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We, the Corporations?

CHICAGO – You would think that 600,000 comments on a petition would be sufficient to bring an issue to the top of the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s agenda. But public opinion does not seem to matter if the issue is mandatory disclosure of political spending by corporations.

Denying rumors that such a rule will be promulgated soon, SEC Chair Mary Jo White recently told lawmakers that this issue is not at the top of her list of priorities. But it is at the forefront of the Republican Party’s concerns, reflecting its leaders’ determination to prevent any such requirement from taking effect. In April, Ann Wagner, a Republican congresswoman, introduced a bill “to prohibit the Securities and Exchange Commission from issuing rules requiring the disclosure of an issuer’s expenditures for political activities.”