April 28, 2012
Dear members of the Securities and Exchange Commission:
I am writing to urge the SEC to issue a rule requiring publicly traded corporations to publicly disclose all their political spending.
The last decade has seen huge cash flows into executive benefits for what was demonstrably dismal performance. The shareholders who had money at risk were treated to a decade of near zero investment performance. Thankfully we now have shareholder say on executive pay, complete with actual traceable compensation figures. As a result, some significant compensation packages have been voted down. Shareholders know that board room activities frequently have not supported the rightful owners of the corporation.
Citizens United has great potential for similar abuse of shareholders. Dollars spent on campaigns can ultimately influence legislation that works against shareholder interest just to satisfy the private interests of one or more highly placed individuals or curry favor for a choice political power appointment. The capitalist system will suffer with this behavior. Corporate dollars must be used only to serve the shareholders who are the rightful owners.
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 SEC's web site.
Thank you for considering my comment.