Unions and Watchdog Groups to Shine Light on Corporate Cockroaches
Maybe cockroaches aren’t a good comparison. Unlike the six-legged variety, it’s not enough to turn on the lights and send the corporate cockroach scurrying back into the walls.
Corporate cockroaches — i.e. corporations and organizations that make secret undisclosed bribes and “campaign contributions” — need to be yanked out of their hiding places and revealed to the public. Voters have a right to know the identities of these anonymous cowards who are purchasing elections right out from under them.
Common Cause, Public Citizen, the SEIU and the Occupy Movement are teaming up for Operation Lift Up the Rock and See What’s Crawling Underneath It.
Super-PACs are required to disclose their donors’ identities. But the 501(c) non-profit groups that are affiliated with super-PACs are NOT required to disclose this information. There’s the rub.
Americans United for Change has offered $25,000 to the first whistleblower who proves that a company has donated to a 501(c) without disclosing it. Let’s hope this isn’t a one-time offer. Come on, smoke out the vermin.
Public advocate Bill de Blasio said:
“We’re going to challenge those donations. We’re going to challenge efforts to hide donations through (c)4s and (c)6s.”
He also referred to a 2010 boycott against Target for making secret donations:
“What happened to Target was child’s play compared to the strength that all of these organizations can bring to bear against companies that decide they’re going against the people’s will and involve themselves unduly in the political process.”
The executive director of Health Care for America Now said companies that make secret contributions are endangering their own reputation, their brand:
“If corporations want to use corporate dollars to influence elections, we will expose them. They will do so at their own risk. The groups represented in our coalition … all have different programs that will inflict economic damage on offending companies.”
Common Cause will be organizing rallies against secret donations at upcoming shareholder meetings of Target, 3M and Bank of America.
Common Cause and Public Citizen are also urging the Securities and Exchange Commission to require that all publicly traded companies disclose all of their political donations.
Go get ‘em! Or as the Teabaggers say, “We’re taking back our country!”