Goldman Sachs commits to the sidelines this election season


Wall Street mainstay Goldman Sachs has updated its website to make known that it does not intend to use any corporate funds for electioneering communications this year, despite the freedom to do so under the Supreme Court Citizens United ruling. It does, however, still maintain a pair of political action committees.

One of the PACs is registered with the Federal Election Commission, the other with the State of New York. Neither is the beneficiary of GS corporate funds.

In addition, GS is requiring its employees who wish to make political contributions to run them by the company for review to make sure they are in compliance with corporate policy.

According to the company website, “Goldman Sachs does not make any political contributions in the United States from corporate funds including contributions to so-called Section 527 entities. Goldman Sachs also does not spend corporate funds directly on electioneering communications. In accordance with its internal policies, Goldman Sachs employees in the United States are required to submit for review all proposed political contributions to determine if they are consistent with our policies.”

Regarding the PACs, GS said that they “…are funded in accordance with applicable federal and state law on a voluntary basis by employees of Goldman Sachs and make contributions on a bipartisan basis in accordance with the firm’s contribution policies. Corporate funds are not contributed to the GS PACs. As required, all political contributions accepted or made by the GS PACs are reported to the federal or state election commissions, as applicable, and are publicly available.”

According to the New York Times, observers are watching to see if other companies will follow Goldman’s lead and avoid getting into the middle of the electoral process every two years. Others suggest the new pledge won’t result in much significant change, since such companies have numerous ways to try to influence the political process.