January 12, 2013
Protecting shareholders from corporate abuse is a major responsibility of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). To provide this mandated shareholder protection, the SEC needs to require all publicly traded corporations to disclose their political spending.
Happily, the SEC's current agenda includes a proposed rule that requires firms to disclose political spending. The time is NOW to implement such a rule; it would make corporations accountable to shareholders (a legal duty) for how money is spent to influence elections.
In the 2012 election, several groups, i.e. the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Koch's Americans for Prosperity, spent many millions on ads, and other means, of influencing the vote. With no disclosure of corporate political donations, corporations escape accountability to shareholders and leave the public in the dark.
Such secret spending weakens our democracy, leading to the widely held belief that money buys elections. By requiring public disclosure of political donations, the SEC protects shareholders' rights to accountability from the firms in which they choose to invest.
A disclosure rule could also make a difference in public attitudes toward the value of voting and the validity of elections. Ideally, disclosure would increase public trust in our government. A goal to be devoutly hoped for!
Thank you for considering my comment.
Cedar Falls, IA