January 9, 2013
You have at hand the opportunity to mitigate much of the enormous damage that has been done to our country by some of the worst Supreme Court decisions since Dred Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson. I'm speaking of the line of cases culminating in Citizens United, that allow unlimited funds from secret donors to profoundly influence American elections. That is done under the guise of free speech adds insult to the injury, since the effect is to suppress and nullify the speech of everyone else.
However, the SEC has in its power--and, in my opinion, the duty--to require the corporations which are the source of much of this influence to disclose to whom they donate the money. The issue is not simply whether the public has a right to know the origins, so that it can better judge the motives of the resulting propaganda and of the officials that it helps to elect. The fundamental question before you is whether the stockholders are entitled to that information. And for most of us, there is no practical way to acquire it other than by compelled public disclosure in the same manner as already required by laws and regulations that serve to inform us on the stewardship of our investments.
Please adopt this rule.