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NC Treasurer Part Of Coalition To Push Political Funding Transparency

Elected officials in five states have formed a coalition pushing companies to disclose more of their political spending. North Carolina's State Treasurer is among them. The website for the Coalition for Accountability in Public Spending calls out dozens of major corporations that have refused to either stay out of the political spending game or fully disclose the contributions they make. Apple, Bank of America and Verizon are on the list, to name just a sampling from A to Z. North Carolina Treasurer Janet Cowell is a founding member of the coalition, along with state leaders in Pennsylvania, Illinois, New York and Los Angeles. They hope to counteract the effects of a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that allows corporations, unions and other groups to pour more money into campaign ads while disclosing less about their funding sources. "Although the amount of money companies spend for political purposes is relatively small, political expenditures are not fully disclosed and rarely subject to oversight by boards," says Melissa Waller, a spokeswoman in the North Carolina Treasurer's office. "Anytime a company spends investors' money on political contributions, it warrants robust board oversight and disclosure." As a member of the Coalition for Accountability in Public Spending, Cowell will push North Carolina lawmakers to require more disclosure from companies and nonprofit groups that spend on political campaigns - especially if they contract with the government. A study by the Washington Post shows interest groups are spending five times as much on congressional elections this year as they did in the last midterms. Often those expenditures are hidden thanks to relaxed rules allowed by the Supreme Court ruling known as Citizens' United. Coalition for Accountability in Public Spending website: http://saveourelections.com/