Proponents of ethics reform and increased political transparency in Washington don’t often see reform proposals pass through Congress by overwhelming margins, and rarely does anyone bemoan an excess of “political intelligence” in Washington, but that’s exactly what happened on Capitol Hill this past week. While the reform community can’t quite be sure what version of reform will survive the ongoing tug of war between the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, it is clear that those trading on “inside political knowledge” are clearly in the transparency crosshairs.
Last year (coincidentally, almost to the day), this blog was all atwitter (you’re following us, right?) about CalPERS’ announcement that it would now require contractors to reveal whether they are using placement agents to seek business with the pension fund. Now, one year later, CalPERS has announced that its governing board approved new corporate governance principles calling upon corporations to detail all yearly political and charitable donations — including those made through trade associations and tax-exempt groups.