April 29, 2012
Dear members of the Securities and Exchange Commission:
Even if you agree that corporations have a right to free speech, and therefore political speech, there is nothing that guarantees that free speech should be anonymous or that corporations should be permitted to fund politics as a tax write off. (As an individual, I don't get to write off political contributions on my taxes, so why should companies be able to count political contributions as a business expense by being able to fold them into other operating costs?).
That's why I am writing to urge you to require publicly traded corporations to publicly disclose all their political spending.
As a shareholder who values democracy as well as ROI, I want to know whether I'm putting money into companies that are working against the best interests of my community or the country. I can't make informed decisions as an investor if I don't know what contributions companies make to political causes. That's why disclosures should be posted promptly on the SEC's web site.
Thank you for considering my comment.