November 8, 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 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. Frankly, we should know the identities of all donors whose funds can be used to influence political and policy campaigns. If I make a small donation to any political campaign or organization that is politically active, I have to disclose my name, employer, and affirm that it is MY money and that I am an American citizen, among other things. What is the sense of allowing huge donations that don't require the same?
Thank you for considering my comment.