The House Oversight Committee is investigating events that occurred under the previous chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Events similar to those at the Internal Revenue Service–senior officials rolling over career staff to politicize the agency–evidently also occurred at the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The article reports:
Last year politicians like then-Rep. Barney Frank and liberal tax-exempt groups like Public Citizen were encouraging the SEC to demand more disclosure from public companies about the organizations they support. Staff for Mr. Frank specifically told the SEC that, “There is particular interest in what the authority is for disclosure of 501(c)(4) contributions (political contributions).” Mr. Frank’s staff also noted that the interest was coming from the House Democratic leadership.
A former Democratic Congressman gave the political motive away while lobbying the SEC’s then-chairman Mary Schapiro. The former lawmaker, unnamed in a memorandum accompanying the Issa letter, was asked by Ms. Schapiro why this wasn’t a job for the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The former pol responded, “because the FEC is even more broken than you,” according to a May 2012 email sent by the deputy director of the SEC’s division of corporation finance. Democrats couldn’t get what they wanted out of the Congress or the FEC. So they went to the SEC.
This sort of behavior is unacceptable. Hopefully the House Oversight Committee will be able to hold the people who initiated this sort of illegal political activity accountable.