Subject: File No. 4-637
From: J. B. Kahler

January 10, 2013

At one time, the United States was considered an industrial giant and a center of innovative invention, a world leader in creating and producing the material goods that countries demand. We are no longer in the Industrial age, where commerce was ruled by demand. We are now in the Corporate age, where a bunch of rich egotists are trying to make our country over into a totalitarian society ruled by them.

Have we not learned from experience? No, never. Even before the collapse of Rome, tyrants have tried to control the world.

The only way an American republic can survive is if there is an active give and take in society. Money paid for items goes into the development and production of new items, and the workers paid to produce support the system by buying what is worthwhile. The system we have now, where we are forced to buy inferior goods from anywhere, means that we have no alternative, because American businesses are being driven out. And who is doing it? The mega-corporations. When they make mistakes, they whine and lobby congress to bail them out ... with the money of unemployed and struggling American workers. When they destroy whole groups of young developing companies, our innovative people move to a country where they can function.
AND they do this in secret, because nobody who is supposed to protect our American society knows who is doing what. This absolutely has to stop!

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.

Thank you for considering my comment.

J. B. Kahler

Lakeview, OR