March 21, 2012
I have received information that tells me that the SEC has the authority to expose the hidden influence of corporations.
The information suggests that the SEC isnít going to act in their capacity as a regulatory and oversight organization the SEC isnít likely to do what they have the obligation and authority to do. I am informed that the SEC wonít perform this function unless they are pressured to do so.
I am trying to square the circle here. Why wonít the SEC do what it ethically should be doing and is authorized to do? It makes me wonder if it is the absence of ethics in the toolkit of the SEC officials. Is that an accurate summation of SEC behavior? I am deeply concerned about the influence of corporate money on our electoral process. Money is not speech. This aberration is flawed.
I am appalled that, because of the Supreme Courtís ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, publicly traded corporations can spend investorís money on political activity in secret. While I am not a constitutional supreme court justice or attorney this ruling is a travesty and highlights the courts bias in favor of corporations over living breathing citizens.
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. Both shareholders and the public must be fully informed as to how much the corporation spends on politics and which candidates are being promoted or attacked. Disclosures should be posted promptly on the SECís web site.
As you well know, the U.S. Supreme Courtís disastrous ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission unleashed this flood of unaccountable corporate money.
The bulk of this corporate money actually belongs to shareholders ó mostly working people who have a 401k or similar retirement plan.
The country needs transparency here, and the SEC has the authority and obligation to provide it protecting the citizens of this country. Real living breathing citizens, not paper citizens.
As the federal agency with the job of protecting shareholders from corporate abuse, you, the SEC, can step in to stop Corporate America from using the publicís retirement savings and investments as its secret political war chest.
Requiring publicly traded corporations to disclose how theyíre trying to influence elections is a first step that can make a big difference in 2012. Letís make sure that we can hold accountable the corporations that funnel money into Super PACs and other groups attempting to tilt the election without disclosing who they are.
I urge you to take immediate action and provide transparency and report the information called for in this petition.
Thank you for considering my comment.
Fort Pierce, FL