January 10, 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. shareholders who and what we are supporting with our investments.
As a shareholder I am appaled that companies where I invest and am at financial risk are not required to disclose to shareholders who and what we are supporting. Are these companies actually working in shareholders interest, or perhaps they are working for the personal interests of just top decision makers. We know where charitable corporate giving goes. We as shareholders have a right to know how our political dollors are being spent and so should our customers.
The same requirement should be made of large private corporations and large personal donations, however such disclosure would take an act of congress.
“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.
Thank you for considering my comment.
Coconut Grove, FL