July 28, 2012
I am deeply concerned about the influence of corporate money on our electoral process.
In particular, I am appalled that, because of the Supreme Courtís ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, publicly traded corporations can spend investors' money on political activity in secret. Do these corporations ask their investors if it is okay to use their money for this purpose? No, they do not. Do they at least inform their investors of the use? No, they do not. They do not do either because they do not want to lose investors.
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. As a consumer, I deserve to know if I should take my business to or away from certain corporations because of their stance on issues that I find important. But I also deserve to know which corporations are lying to me in false political ads.
Corporations are not allowed to lie about their products and services in advertisements under "false advertisement" consumer protection legislation. Why do we not deserve the same protection for political advertising, which can result in much larger harm to ourselves and our neighbors? If lying in political ads cannot be prevented, we should at least know who is selling the lies so that we can avoid the companies if we so choose.
Both shareholders and the public must be fully informed as to how much the corporation spends on politics and which candidates are being promoted or attacked. Disclosures should be posted promptly on the SECís web site.
Thank you for considering my comment.
Lake Arrowhead, CA