April 29, 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.
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.
Citizens need to be able to consider the sources of political and policy ads in order to put the information in context. Given that we also do not have the benefit of a truth in advertising law now, it is also 1000 times more important that we know who is behind often times intentionally false, misleading and/or hateful messaging.
Please meet your responsibilities in holding political advertisers accountable and transparent. Citizens are depending on the SEC to protect our political process against corrupt manipulations by those who have unlimited funding to silence others, to misinform the public, to co-opt the ostensibly truth seeking fourth estate, to unfairly and anonymously smear their opponents, to avoid paying taxes and to corruptly enrich broadcasters who should be providing at least a substantive amount of time, political coverage for free, given that much of the infrastructure, such as the satellites beaming TV come from public funding. Our democracy depends on the SEC's appropriate and strong defense against the corrupting effects of the 1%'s financial power against the 99%'s call for fairness and transparency.
Thank you for considering my comment.
Mary J. Fifield