August 20, 2013
Chairman Mary Jo White & SEC Commissioners:
At the start of the year, the Securities and Exchange Commission put on its spring agenda a proposed rule to require corporations to disclose all their political spending, including donations to so-called "social welfare" organizations that are really political fronts that don't have to reveal their donors -- such as Karl Rove's "Crossroads GPS" and "Americans for Prosperity" which together poured tens of millions of dollars into the 2012 races. The SEC has recognized (helped by the the Dodd-Frank law) that shareholders have a right to know how their money is being spent by corporate executives on lobbying, public issues, and candidates. Otherwise, corporate executives have at their disposal secret political slush funds of money that's not theirs.
But now it's August, and still no action by the SEC. What's the holdup? It's not that executives are demanding to keep their slush funds. In a recent survey of U.S. business executives commissioned by the Committee for Economic Development, more than four out of five (including 79 percent of surveyed Republican executives and almost all Democrats) support the SEC's proposed transparency rule. The pressure against it must be coming from the groups -- like Karl Rove's -- that trade on secret political spending and have integrated pay-to-play politics into their organizational fundraising models.
I, as an American citizen and an individual investor, see this as a very bad way to conduct SEC business for the People of the United States of America, who you are to represent! I respectfully ask that you take swift action and do not delay this matter any longer. I trust that your decisions and the outcome will be in our interest.
Jon Mark Morgan