Subject: File No. 4-637
From: Michael Romba

January 15, 2014

I am outraged that the Securities and Exchange Commission has dropped the rule requiring publicly traded corporations to disclose their political spending from the unified agenda.

Return the rule to the unified agenda and complete the rule in 2014.

After the Supreme Court’s appalling Citizens United ruling, followed by 2012’s tsunami of election spending, bringing corporate “dark money” into the light should be a high priority for an agency charged with looking out for the interests of investors like me.

Giving CEOs the green light to use our retirement savings and investments as a political war chest for partisan interests like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is exactly the wrong thing to do.

It would be absurd for a small business owner not to know if his or her company’s money is being spent to help elect politicians. The same holds true for shareholders. Both shareholders and the public must be fully informed as to how much corporations spend on politics and which candidates are being promoted or attacked. Disclosures should be posted promptly on the SEC’s web site.

Political contributions by Corporations transfer far too much political power to a select few in positions of wealth. The premise of our republican democracy is that every single person's vote is measured equally whether he or she be homeless or the CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation. Providing these companies with a way of contributing to politicians without some sort of public oversight allows these companies to work their wills on the American public through manipulation of the media. This is an unchecked propaganda machine, pure and simple. Force these contributions in to the light. That's the least we can ask. Give the American public a fighting chance to inform itself on who their representatives represent.

Michael Romba

Virginia Beach, VA