New York’s Public Advocate Wants You to Hold Companies Accountable
Eugene Volokh [points out](http://volokh.com/2010/08/17/elected-politician-using-government-web-site-to-mobilize-public-opposition-to-private-speech-about-politicians/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+volokh/mainfeed+(The+Volokh+Conspiracy)) an interesting feature on the website of the Public Advocate for the City of New York: a list of major corporations’ stands on using corporate money to support or attack candidates running for political office.
The list in itself is interesting. A few companies, including Colgate-Palmolive, Dell, Goldman Sachs, and Microsoft, have publicly pledged to not spend money from their treasuries, while another few — Target, Massey Energy, etc. — are known for their prior or planned willingness to engage in the practice. The vast majority, however, have no listed policy on the issue, so it’s unclear.
The part that riles Volokh is the pop-up tab that emerges over a company’s name that says, “Hold [company name] Accountable: Call [company name] at [phone number],” or “Demand that corporations stop taking advantage of Citizens United: Call [company name] at [phone number],” depending on their stance on the issue. There may not be a constitutional issue at stake in the issue, admits Volokh, but it is an unusual amount of advocacy on the part of a government agency — even one with the role of “public advocate.”