The Great Divider likes political speech only when it likes him

Investigators for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee recently uncovered evidence of the lengths to which Pelosi and the House Democratic leadership are willing to go to stifle political speech with which they disagree, and it bears a disturbing similarity to the IRS scandal. There has been a concerted effort for several years among Democrats and their activist allies in the nonprofit world to force corporations to disclose more information about their support of independent political groups, especially those known as 501(C)(4) foundations, which are found across the ideological spectrum.

Forcing such disclosure could have a chilling effect on the firms’ willingness to help groups supporting causes unpopular among liberal Democrats. As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, “corporations tend to support groups on both the left and the right, whereas unions are more reliably liberal. If businesses are limited in the public debate, it’s a big win for Democrats.”

The oversight committee found that a majority of the SEC’s commissioners and its professional staff in the division of corporate finance firmly opposed a proposal that the agency adopt such a rule. Sustained pressure from the Obama White House and Democratic congressional leaders, however, succeeded in overcoming that opposition and such a rule is now on the SEC’s agenda, never mind that regulating political speech has nothing to do with maintaining orderly markets, protecting investors from scam artists like Bernie Madoff, or encouraging capital formation.