While a discussion about corporate disclosure of campaign contributions seems to already have occurred among politicians and transparency groups, the Federal Election Commission deadlocked once again on a vote to re-open public discussion of disclosure rules for political advertisements.
These advertisements, called independent expenditures and electioneering communications, are used to support or oppose candidates, or publicize issues with the names or images of candidates.
FEC Chair Cynthia Bauerly offered up a “draft notice of proposed rulemaking” at the June 15 commission meeting to re-open public comment on existing rules that require donations to outside groups to be disclosed only when they are specifically earmarked for certain political advertisements.
In 2010, commissioners decided that only money earmarked for a specific advertisement had to be disclosed, rather than all money contributed toward political expenditures.
Open Secrets, which investigates political spend, reported that a similar request for public comment also failed in to get commission approval in January.
Advocacy groups that have supported a widely discussed presidential executive order that would require government contractors to disclose their political expenditures to third party groups, such as Public Citizen and the Campaign Legal Center, told Open Secrets that the FEC’s constant deadlock on issues is rendering the commission ineffective.