November 6, 2013
SEC Comment file 4-637
Dear Comment file 4-637,
I am appalled that, because of the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, publicly traded corporations can spend investor's money on political activity in secret.
I am alarmed and deeply concerned about the influence of corporate money on our electoral process. I live in Whatcom County, Washington and out County Council election is being watched nationwide (and internationally for that matter) because of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal project. It's been amazing the amount of money that has been funneled into this sleepy little county.
It's also very alarming and more than disturbing that corporations with their deep pockets can waltz right in and literally take over local governments. It's bad enough they're taking over the federal and state governments and elections process (yes, we're voting on the GMO labeling initiative on the state level and that's brought in huge monies from the likes of Monsanto, etc.).
Corporate involvement might not be so bad if they could be trusted to spend their money in a positive way, but they don't and they spend millions of dollars producing slick ads, newspaper, TV and radio to spread misinformation especially about the likes of "jobs"
and that GMO foods are safe for consumption. Opposing grassroots organizations do not have the access to the kinds of funding for media campaigns to counter the corporate ability to mislead, misdirect and misinform people on such a large scale, even on local and state issues.
If we're not going to limit political spending, then we need to have our politicians and political donors to be very transparent about who's getting how much money from who, so the public can identified who's being bought, by who and for how much. Voters and people actively engaged in the welfare of their local communities, their states and the federal government need to be able to know how their communities are being affected by outside influences even on levels of how to create local jobs, counter hunger, address domestic violence, secure women's reproductive rights, etc, within their local communities.
Citizens United has really had a devastating impact on local and state governments, politics and the ability of local communities to address their issues without continued interference from outside corporate "persons." Shame of the US Supreme Court for being so terribly short-sighted.
So, I am writing to urge the Securities and Exchange Commission 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.