January 18, 2012
I am deeply concerned about the influence of corporate money on our electoral process. The very idea of money as speech is such a disaster to our democracy, no matter how you look at it. Allowing corporate money to influence our elections and the decision by SCOTUS means those with the most money get to have the ear of congress while someone such as myself who is unemployed, lose their voice. How is this fair or democratic?
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. Why all the secrecy? Secrecy undermines the free and open discussion of the issues and goes against everything we stand for as a nation. It makes us look more like some countries we do not want to immulate. 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.
This action does not mention another side of this important issue which I wish you would consider at the same time. That issue is the matter of companies that receive federal contracts and I believe President Obama is contemplating such a move. This action should also go further in my opinion to also include those that get federal subsidies. It could be infered that this is taxpayer money any it should not be used to advance the interests of a private or publicly traded corporation.
Both shareholders and the public must be fully informed as to how much the corporation spends on politics, where that money comes from 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.