August 24, 2013
I am writing to urge the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue a rule requiring publicly traded corporations to publicly disclose ALL of their political spending – and to do so this year.
As a shareholder, I have a right to know how much of a corporation's earnings (of companies in which I hold shares) is being used to influence the political process... instead of being returned to shareholders as dividends. I want to know: How much? To whom? And in regards to what legislation and/or business before which Congressional/Senate committees. Shareholders are part-owners in all publicly traded companies and corporations, and we have an absolute right to have every dollar accounted for in a transparent and timely!
It is a scandal that money from publicly traded corporations – which belongs to investors – can be secretly spent with no accountability to shareholders. The Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission created the loophole that enables this secret spending, but the SEC has the authority to close it.
Both shareholders and the public must be fully informed as to how much corporations spend on politics and which candidates are being supported or attacked. Disclosures should be posted on the SEC's web site with all deliberate speed.