January 18, 2012
I am deeply concerned about the influence of corporate money on our electoral process.
In particular, I am appalled that, because of the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, publicly traded corporations can spend investor's money on political activity in secret.
I am writing to urge the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue a rule requiring publicly traded corporations to publicly disclose all their political spending. Money spent in this manner should not be anonymous as ultimately, it belongs to the shareholders and is not part of a private political slush fund for the CEO.
Both shareholders and the public must be fully informed as to how much the corporation spends on politics and which candidates are being promoted or attacked. Disclosures should be posted promptly on the SEC's web site. Further, large expenditures of this sort should be approved by shareholders as they directly affect the profitability of the corporations involved. It is one thing for a CEO to authorize expeditures to operate the corporation, but quite another to expend corporate money to further a CEO's private political agenda.
Thank you for considering my comment.