February 16, 2012
Securities and Exchange Commission
As a result of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision two years ago, the Super PACs that are increasingly dominating the financing of elections in the U.S. are not required to disclose the source and size of their unlimited corporate donations.
The public does not have a clue -- because disclosure is not required -- of the sources of the waves of cash that are paying for the majority of the political attack ads that are now a regular, disconcerting staple of television programming.
Since Citizens United, we have gradually lost faith in the strength and validity of representative democracy and in the fairness of American elections. We are not alone -- we hear the same criticism on a regular basis from family, friends and associates.
Increasingly, Americans of modest means have serious doubts about the effectiveness of voting regularly; of volunteering their time to work on free and fair elections; and of donating what they can reasonably afford to support political candidates. Huge monied interests are taking over the political debate and process, and few of us know who they are or where their funds came from.
This situation is unacceptable. We support, and urge you to act positively on, the formal request from 14 United States Senators that the SEC use its regulatory authority to require that corporations disclose their spending in elections.
Thank you for your consideration of this high urgency request from this group of elected representatives.