Novwmber 14, 2013
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 – and to do so this year.
“Dark money” groups that accept contributions from corporations, but are not required to publicly identify their corporate donors, spent millions of dollars during the 2012 elections. It is a scandal that money from publicly traded corporations – which belongs to investors – can be secretly spent to distort our democracy.
The legislation that allowed for the formation of corporations in the United States was intended to encourage more ambitious economic activity on the part of investors for the good of this country. To this end, it limited personal economic liability should such an undertaking fail. It was never intended to create a repository of secretive political-economic power which would supplant that of elective, constitutional democracy; or to substitute "one dollar, one vote" for "one man, one vote".
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 promoted or attacked. Disclosures should be posted promptly on the SEC’s web site.
Thank you for considering my comment.