January 13, 2013
I 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 accept contributions from corporations, but are not required to publicly identify their corporate donors. These groups spent millions of dollars on the 2012 elections. It is a scandal that money from publicly traded corporations – which belongs to investors – can be secretly spent to distort 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 authority to close it.
Both shareholders and the public *must* be fully informed on 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.
More generally, and dishearteningly, a studied, critical, overview of current American political practices - from campaign to eventual policy decision by those elected - reveals extreme loss of integrity to principles of honesty and justice - both are essential in a functioning democratic system.
We are seriously off-track as a functioning democracy. All measures to bring honesty, justice, and integrity back into dominant play must be taken ASAP.
One major contribution the SEC can make is to insist on full transparency of corporate political spending.
Thank you for considering my comment.