Subject: File No. S7-19-03
From: Brandon Hofstedt

October 15, 2004

From: Brandon Hofstedt []
Sent: Friday, October 15, 2004 10:51 AM
Subject: Proposed Shareholder Democracy Rule

Dear Chairman:

The proposed shareholder democracy rule, where a two-step process for gaining access to the proxy statements would be set up, is extremely important. First, shareholders representing one percent of company stock would be able call for a shareholder vote on whether they can nominate directors. Then, if a majority of shareholders agree, the next year the shareholder group would nominate up to three directors, depending on the size of the board. Alternately, if at least 35 percent of shareholders withhold votes for one or more directors, investors would be allowed to nominate directors.

Since one of the common strains of almost all scandal-ridden companies is that boards of directors are not accountable to shareholders, it would make sense to give shareholders more control over the companies that they own.

But because the business community is lobbying furiously to avoid even this small step toward shareholder democracy, this reform is being stalled.

I urge you to take action on behalf of shareholders. It is essential in this "Land of Equal Opportunity" that the playing field become level. Give the power back to those that the company should be accountable to.

Shareholders should have more control over the companies that they own.

Brandon Hofstedt
Ames, IA 50014

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