February 18, 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.
I strongly support the Comment Letter of Dr. Coates concerning File Number 4-637. I believe that as much public information as possible on what corporations are doing to influence policy debates and also election results must be made available. Shareholders have a right to know and so does the public. Its bad for shareholders, bad for workers, and bad for the public interest to have vast sums of corporate "dark" money going into lobbying campaigns and election campaigns and no public authority keeping track of it. Its time for a major change.
Thank you for considering my comment.
Mission Viejo, CA