February 16, 2012
Dear Sir or Madam,
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.
Both shareholders and the public must be fully informed as to how much a corporation spends on politics and which candidates they are promoting or attacking. Disclosures should be posted promptly on the SECís web site.
Due to the U.S. Supreme Courtís ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, corporate CEOs are spending unprecedented, unlimited, and undisclosed amounts of money to elect the candidates of their choice in 2012, not just in the White House, but in our Congress. But the immense wealth at their command doesnít really belong to them; it belongs to the shareholders of their companies. And, no matter how capable, and no matter how powerful this elite group of corporate bosses has come to be, they should not be allowed to include our retirement savings and our investments in their secret political war chests.
You are a federal agency charged with protecting the public from fraud and abuse, and you have the authority to require publicly traded companies to disclose how they spend money to influence our elections. I would like you to require such disclosure. Without taking a position on the controversy over whether corporations are people, or whether money equals speech, taking this action could help to contain the corrupting influence of money in politics by bringing it out into the sunlight.
Thank you for considering my comment.