March 8, 2012
The Securities and Exchange Commission
Dear Securities and Exchange Commission,
In a publicly traded company, the shareholders are the real owners. However, due to a lack of disclosure laws, shareholders have no way to find out how corporate officers are spending that money to exert political influence.
In fact, millions of dollars go, without a trace, to political super PACs. Investors get to do look at the books of companies in other ways. We can decide if we like the products, we can decide if we like the risk ratios. But we can't decide if we like what the company is doing to the fabric of our political process, because those transactions are not public.
Please institute a rule that would make both direct and (especially!) indirect contributions from corporations and corporate interest groups to superpacs a matter of public record, at least for any publicly-traded company. Note that I'm not insisting that you somehow give shareholders the right to choose if, when, and how a company should make donations. That's between the company and its shareholders. But we should have the right to see what they are giving, and to whom.