Maine Small Business Coalition Disappointed in U.S., Maine Chamber Opposition to Financial Disclosure Reform

  • Posted on: 29 January 2013
  • By: admin

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has placed consideration of a political spending disclosure rule on its agenda for 2013. This rule would be a significant step forward in increasing transparency and leveling the playing field in national elections. Unfortunately, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has come out in opposition to the SEC's proposed rule.

The Maine State Chamber of Commerce also signed on to the national Chamber's letter of opposition to this common-sense rule - the only state chamber to do so.

"We are disappointed to see that the Maine chamber is more concerned with protecting corporate interest than in transparent political dialogue which would benefit small business owners in our state," said MSBC Director Kevin Simowitz. "At a time when spending on political campaigns from organizations attempting to influence elections is skyrocketing, we believe that we need more financial disclosure, not less" said Simowitz.

In the wake of the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court allowing unlimited campaign spending by corporations, more than $32 million[1] was spent nationally in 2012 on advertising that did not identify the advertisement's sponsor, a decision which inherently benefited big moneyed interests over the small business backbone of our nation.

"The U.S. Chamber was the biggest out-of-state spender in Maine's 2012 elections, attempting to elect a candidate who supported the Chamber's hidden donors instead of real Maine business owners like me," said MSBC member Melanie Collins, owner of a childcare business in Falmouth. "It's scandalous that the Maine Chamber supports hiding corporate money in political spending," Collins continued.

"A person investing in a corporation should have a right to know what political contributions that corporation is making. For the protection of all of us, investors and consumers, it's time to make big corporations tell the whole truth."