April 24, 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.
Thank you for considering my comment. It's a ridiculous thing that this should fall to the SEC to correct, but it none the less must be corrected. And any shareholder, such as myself, should be entitled to know where his/her investments are being directed; political support is part of a company's ideology and business strategy and I want (and must) be able to assess it. Company contributions speak to larger patterns of business activity that must be visible to investors and the broader public; companies do not act in a vacuum and every contribution decision has an impact economically, environmentally, politically, and socially. And of course, these in turn impact the business' long-term viability.
Santa Fe, NM