From: Leahy for Senate
January 31, 2012
Securities and Exchange Commission
Dear U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission:
As a voter, consumer, and tax payer, I am outraged that corporations and individuals can contribute unlimited dollars to a political campaign without anyone knowing who they are or how much they contributed. While my dollars are limited, they do have power and I spend them knowing something of what the manufacturer or corporation profiting from my purchases supports. If a corporation wants to play in politics, their customers, their shareholders, and the general public have a right to know.
The Supreme Court's Citizens United decision led to the rise of the now dominant Super PAC, giving corporations the incredible political power to make unlimited, anonymous political donations. Never has third-party spending been more pervasive in politics, and never has it been more secretive. This is unacceptable. As an American, I have a right to know what my spending dollars are ultimately promoting. If a corporation believes strongly enough to support a candidate or cause fiscally, they should do so publicly, not in secret.
I am asking that the SEC require companies to disclose political expenditures to their shareholders -- and thus the public. The public needs every opportunity to expose Super PACs for what they are -- vehicles for corporations to influence politics and crowd out the voices of ordinary citizens.
Please, ensure that the corporations are forced to disclose their efforts to influence our elections.
Thank you for your time.
Celeste Marie Girrell