By Emily Myers
The United States needs a superhero to rescue us from the influence of large corporations over our democracy. Superman and Batman can’t help us, but the chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mary Jo White, can.
Mary Jo White and the SEC have the power to bring corporate political spending out of the shadows, an action that would help Americans reclaim control over political decisions made in their name. Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, corporations have had the green light to spend shareholder money to influence the outcomes of elections, but there have been no new efforts to ensure shareholders and voters are aware of corporations’ political spending.
Shareholders and voters deserve to know how much money corporations are contributing to political campaigns and which candidates and causes they fund. To that end, Public Citizen and its allies in the Corporate Reform Coalition have launched a campaign aiming to persuade the SEC to require publicly traded corporations to disclose their political spending. (Public Citizen also has launched its own petition calling on Mary Jo White to require corporate political spending disclosure.)
The campaign, entitled ‘Where is Mary Jo White?’ uses comic book art to call upon Mary Jo White and the SEC to act. Commuters leaving and entering Union Station, a major transportation hub located near the SEC headquarters, can see scared investors and voters begging for Mary Jo White’s help in keeping dark money monsters from destroying Washington.
I visited Union Station today to see for myself how badly American voters need Mary Jo White to act. I also wanted to see just how cool the campaign is. You can see for yourself by visiting Union Station or WhereIsMJW.com, or, if you want to save yourself a trip outside or to another website, you can see the pictures I took below:
You can follow the campaign on social media by checking the hashtag #WhereIsMJW. Here are some highlights:
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) April 4, 2015
— Lisa Gilbert (@Lisa_PubCitizen) April 6, 2015
— Adam Smith (@asmith83) April 8, 2015
— Brennan Center (@BrennanCenter) April 11, 2015
Have you seen SEC Chair Mary Jo White? Emily Myers is a intern with Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division.