A new poll reveals that many American business owners are concerned about the pressure to donate to political campaigns and the growing number of undisclosed contributions made by corporations.
The survey, which was conducted by Zogby International, found that six in 10 business leaders said there is pressure to help fund political efforts. Approximately 77 percent said that organizations should disclose all of their direct and indirect political expenditures.
Of the 301 business leaders who were polled, two-thirds agreed that a lack of transparency in political activity encourages behavior that damages its reputations and puts a corporation at legal risk.
A Supreme Court decision in January 2010 ruled that political spending is a form of protected speech and opened the door to campaign spending by third-party organizations. Opponents of the 5-4 decision believe that allowing unlimited corporate spending on political ads will corrupt democracy.
"These huge undisclosed contributions that pay for campaign ads are distorting the political process and are a major reason why Congress has become so dysfunctional," said Ed Kangas, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, the world's largest professional services organization.
According to The Associated Press, the Campaign Media Analysis Group projects that spending on political television ads will reach $3 billion this year, which would top the $2.7 billion spend in 2008. The news provider reports that the surge is due to several factors, including the Supreme Court decision and a high number of close races across the United States.