February 2, 2013
Dear Members of the Securities and Exchange Commission:
When corporations engage in political speech, they owe it to their shareholders, customers, trading partners, and the public, to do so openly, not secretly. No individual would make an address in the public square with a bag over his head to hide his identity. Individual donors to campaigns must reveal not only their names but their occupation and employer. Corporations should also be required to have the courage to attach their names to their public speech, as money is equated with speech.
I strongly support the SEC implementing a rule requiring publicly traded corporations to make their spending on political activities, whether direct or through intermediaries, a part of their public record.
Democratic discourse is public discourse and must be publicly owned. Speakers have the responsibility to stand behind their speech. Both the public and shareholders, who fund corporate activities and who are owners of record, deserve to know which issues and candidates the corporation is supporting or attacking with corporate funds.
Thank you for considering my comment.