Corporate Political Spending Petition May Reach SEC Commissioners

Corporate Political Spending Petition May Reach SEC Commissioners
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New York, November 12, 2012— A petition in support of required corporate disclosures on political expenditures signed by several Columbia Law School professors may get further consideration by the Securities and Exchange Commission, a deputy SEC director said last week.
The news that the agency’s corporate finance division may recommend that the commissioners propose rules based on the petition follows a speech earlier this year in which Commissioner Luis Aguilar expressed his support for the professors' ideas.
"It's very encouraging to learn that the SEC's staff is seriously considering proposing a rule requiring public companies to disclose their spending on politics,” said Associate Professor of Law and Milton Handler Fellow Robert J. Jackson Jr., one of the Law School professors who signed the petition. “I hope that the analysis we provided in our rulemaking petition, and the papers we've published in this area since, prove useful to the SEC in developing these rules—and that it won't be too long until the staff propose rules that would shine light on corporate spending on politics."
Jackson has written about the issue in an article called “Corporate Political Speech: Who Decides?” in the Harvard Law Review and in a forthcoming article called “Shining Light on Corporate Political Spending” in the Georgetown Law Journal.
In addition to Jackson, the petition’s signatories include Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law John C. Coffee Jr., Marc and Eva Stern Professor of Law and Business Ronald J. Gilson, and Richard Paul Richman Professor of Law Jeffrey N. Gordon.