November 9, 2013
***Corporations must not be allowed to leverage their special legal privileges and powers into the political forum. Corporations are special legal fictions, chartered for specific purposes and with specific powers that no flesh and blood human enjoys. SEC must immediately require corporations to disclose their campaign contributions, acquired through means completely unrelated to any political motivation on the "donor's" part, so that shareholders, customers, and employees may evaluate these activities with an eye toward whether they wish continued transactions with these corporations. Otherwise, these legal fictions will retain the power to channel money into political influence without the consent of the people whose money and labors are unwittingly used, a power not available to ordinary, flesh and blood persons.***
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 – and to do so this year.
“Dark money” groups that accept contributions from corporations, but are not required to publicly identify their corporate donors, spent millions of dollars during the 2012 elections. It is a scandal that money from publicly traded corporations – which belongs to investors – can be secretly spent to distort our democracy.
The Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission created the loophole that enables this secret spending, but the SEC has the authority to close it.
Both shareholders and the public must be fully informed as to how much corporations spend on politics and which candidates are being promoted or attacked. Disclosures should be posted promptly on the SEC’s web site.
Thank you for considering my comment.