The Securities and Exchange Commission should require corporations to disclose their political spending so that shareholders can see how their money is being used, one of the agency’s five commissioners said Friday.
Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar, a Democrat, urged the agency to address the fallout from the Supreme Court decision lifting restrictions on corporate expenditures.
Without mandatory, uniform disclosures, “it is impossible to have any corporate accountability or oversight,” Aguilar said in a speech prepared for a conference in Washington.
Investors, money managers and members of Congress have made similar pleas over disclosure. Last year, a group of law professors petitioned the SEC to require publicly traded companies to reveal their political expenditures.
The Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case has transformed the political landscape. The SEC, which regulates corporate financial disclosures and is supposed to be the investor’s advocate, has a responsibility to demand transparency, Aguilar said.