The court ruling led to unlimited money in the political arena and, watchdogs say, minimal disclosure. This standard counteracts the newfound opacity of the field by signing corporations on to “disclose their direct corporate political contributions, indirect political spending through trade associations and other groups such as secretive 501(c)(4)s and implement oversight,” the release states.
Many of these companies were further prompted to move forward with new guidelines when shareholder votes in 2011 showed support for further disclosure.
Some of the businesses that have signed on to the disclosure framework include Halliburton Co., Safeway, Aflac and The Hershey Co. Goldman Sachs has created its own disclosure requirements that comply with the center’s standards, the release states.
“The very practices of Watergate – corporate cash being funneled secretly to a campaign – are now on full, legal display,” Freed and center counsel Karl Sandstrom said in a statement.