Business leaders have committed nearly $6 million in funding for political reform groups since last year, through the help of an organization that engages the business community on the structural threats to democracy.
The funding was committed by members of the Leadership Now Project, an organization comprised largely of business leaders that helps channel strategic investment in the political reform space.
Last year, Leadership Now began analyzing the policies and practices of nearly 200 political reform groups to provide the business community and potential donors with a sense of which organizations offered a particularly high return on investment for democracy.
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An increasing number of the country's largest publicly traded companies are disclosing more than ever about political spending habits that the law permits them to keep secret.
That's the central finding of the fifth annual report from a group of academics and corporate ethicists, who say the average score among the biggest companies traded on American exchanges, the S&P 500, has gone up each year since 2014.
Though corporate political action committees must disclose their giving to candidates, those numbers are very often dwarfed by the donations businesses make to the trade associations and other outside groups that have driven so much of the steady rise in spending on elections. Conservatives say robust disclosure of these behaviors is the best form of regulating money in politics and is working fine, and this new report reflects that. Those who say campaign finance needs more assertive federal regulation will argue such corporate transparency is inconsistent and inadequate to the task, and the new report underscores that.
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The Center for Political Accountability is a non-partisan, non-profit advocacy organization leading the only successful effort that is achieving corporate political disclosure and accountability. As a non-government organization (NGO), CPA works outside the political system. With prospects nil for legislative or regulatory fixes nationally, CPA has developed an innovative strategy that enlists the cooperation of companies themselves by demonstrating the business value of spending transparency.