January 10, 2013
Securities and Exchange Comm.
Dear Securities and Exchange Comm.,
I urge the commissionís prompt approval of rules requiring public disclosure of political spending by publicly held companies.
Publicly held companies have no business spending any of what could otherwise be corporate profits on aiding political campaigns or influencing politicians. People who invest their hard-earned money in publicly held companies expect the fullest possible return on their investments. Publicly held companies should not have the latitude to expend money on elections at all. They should account for every penny of their expenditures, and if they are found to be spending money this way and hiding the fact from public and shareholder scrutiny, those involved should go to prison as the flagrant embezzlers that they are. It's not their money to spend in this way, and it cheats investors of their true return. Such expenditures also cheat the U.S. voter and undermine the principles of the nation's "one man-one vote" political system, giving corporations political influence that is generally self-serving and that demonstrably can run counter to the political will of the general public. In that way, such companies potentially divert what rightfully should be money in their investors' accounts to influence politicians to do things that may be counter to the will of their public investors. This is no way to run this country, which is supposedly not founded on the idea that he who has the most money has the power. It's also no way to run a publicly held company or a market that depends on, wants, and urges ever more public investment. The money we sacrifice to invest should not be taken in the hands of the corporations we invest in to be wielded in this way. We then have the nonsensical phenomenon of having to sacrifice even more to give money to political campaigns in order to combat the influence of our own invested money. Someone's profiting greatly from all this, and it's doing nothing but harm to the general public and to our political system.
Please do your part to end this problem, which fleeces us as investors, as members of a public increasingly and constantly called on to donate money in order to combat this new and vast inappropriate corporate influence, and as a one person-one vote electorate.
Thank you for considering my comment.
Judith Ann Johnson