April 30, 2012
Dear members of the Securities and Exchange Commission:
I am a lawyer of 23 years. My law school Constitutional Law Professor was Anthony Kennedy. I was shocked by his vote and opinion in the Citizens United case. I have discussed this case with many scholars, and most conclude that the case is the death knell for a democratic society. To equate money with speech is to equate capitalism with democracy - too often the goals are contrary. In speaking with recently retired California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George, he agreed with me that Citizens United was among the most poorly decided Supreme Court decisions of the century. If "free speech" was its rationale, the death of free speech will be its legacy. Voters are apathetic because they know that their vote means next to nothing. With open floodgates of special interest money, voters' apathy will increase and voter turnout will set record lows - because peddling influence has replaced honest debate.
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.
Thank you for considering my comment.