April 29, 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.
The current situation is disgraceful. As long as Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission remains the law of the land, publicly traded corporations can legally spend virtually unlimited amounts of money to influence elections and the political process without the public's or, more importantly, their own shareholders' knowledge.
The SEC can remedy this situation by requiring disclosure of that information. 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. The fact that some corporations now voluntary disclose this information must not deter the Commission from adopting a rule requiring disclosure. There are far too many publicly traded corporations that would not disclose without such a requirement. And, there are no legitimate reasons for delaying the effective date of this rule; it needs to be enforcible immediately.
Thank you for considering my comment.