What Are Political Contribution Disclosures?
Under its pay-to-play rules, the MSRB requires municipal securities dealers to disclose certain information in connection with political contributions they make to governmental issuer officials, state and local political parties, and bond ballot referendum committees. The MSRB makes all political contribution disclosure documents available to the public. These rules, created in 1994, were the first in the financial industry and altered the relationship between dealers – and those that work on their behalf – and the awarding of bond business based on campaign donations. MSRB rules continue to serve as a model for other areas of the financial services industry seeking to curb pay-to-play practices.
Read MSRB Rule G-37 and Rule G-38 on political contributions.
How Can Political Contribution Disclosures Be Accessed?
Since the 1990s, the MSRB has made political contribution disclosure documents available to the public. As of February 2013, these documents are made available on the MSRB's Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website.
Search for political contribution disclosure documents here.
Find other federally filed information on political contributions.
What Information Does a Political Contribution Disclosure Provide?
Quarterly reports on Form G-37 submitted by dealers, documents any contributions to issuer officials, payments made to political parties of states or political subdivisions, and contributions made to bond ballot campaigns by its municipal finance professionals and executive officers, and by political action committees controlled by the dealer or its municipal finance professionals. Dealers must also report issuers with which they have engaged in municipal securities business.
A limited number of dealers also submit quarterly reports on Form G-38t that include information about transitional payments for past services provided by consultants, including compensation arrangements, municipal securities business obtained, payments pending, and reportable political contributions and political party payments.
Why Is the Availability of Political Contribution Disclosures Important?
MSRB rules restricting pay-to-play practices seek to prevent conflicts of interest and add transparency to the municipal securities market. They also contribute to stability and investor confidence. Market participants and investors are able to view information about dealer political contributions and assess any financial relationships between dealers and the issuers with which they are doing business.