Campaign finance groups are urging expansion or elimination of a Securities and Exchange Commission "pay to play" rule designed to limit political conflicts of interest in state contracting, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The 2010 rule was design to prohibit "certain employees of financial-services companies that do — or might do — business with state agencies from contributing to the officials who oversee those agencies," the Journal noted.
As eyes turn to the 2016 election cycle, some critics note that the rule should be broadened with the increase of super PAC money, particularly contributions geared at supporting a single candidate. Others, however, say the "pay to play" rule should be eliminated entirely because "it creates an advantage for members of Congress, who aren’t subject to the rule, over governors in campaign fundraising," the Journal wrote.
The rule does not specially address how it applies to super PACs, which gives an open window for those using such funds moving ahead, the Journal said.
"The ability to game these regulations with a super PAC shows that our campaign finance system is more loophole than law these days. The SEC should look into whether there’s anything the agency can do to update these rules," Adam Smith, a spokesman for Every Voice, told the Journal of his group's concerns.
The watchdog group Public Citizen
found that during the 2014 election cycle, "42 percent of groups that spent more than $100,000 and were allowed to raise money without contribution caps supported a single candidate," the Journal noted.
A federal judge in September dismissed a Republican challenge from two states to the SEC rule, which restricts contributions from asset managers to campaigns, Business Insider reported.
The legal challenge
from the Florida and Tennessee Republican parties, would have, if successful, ended limits on state donations. The state plaintiffs in the case suggested that the existing SEC rule violated their free speech.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.