May 20, 2012
I want to comment on a petition for rulemaking submitted to the SEC on August 3, 2011. The file number is 4-637. The request is for a rule requiring more corporate disclosure of political contributions than currently exists.
I am all for complete disclosure of political contributions, both direct and indirect, in a manner that is easily found by investors. The annual report or the proxy solicitation report would be a good place to list such contributions.
A recent Supreme Court decision allowing for unlimited political contributions by corporations make such disclosure vital. Stockholders have no way of knowing what the people on the Boards of Directors have done about such contributions using money that actually belongs to the stockholders. Directors could cause large sums of money to be given to political candidates who would, in turn, do personal favors for the directors, favors that have nothing to do with the proper running of the companies. There must be rules that provide a check on such behavior.