Subject: File No. 4-637

February 2, 2013

Dear Members of the Securities and Exchange Commission:

It's long past time to end secret political spending by corporations.
 
So I strongly support the SEC issuing a rule in the near future that would require publicly traded corporations to publicly disclose ALL their spending on political activities.

"In the new campaign finance landscape post-Citizens United, we're seeing historic spending levels spurred by outside groups dominated by a small number of individuals and organizations making exceptional contributions," said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics.

All Americans now know how difficult it is for an elected politician to maintain his/her impartiality when a wealthy individual or corporation which donated millions to their campaign asks for personal favors.
 
In 2008, Wall Street fleeced citizens who gullibly thought their government was protecting them; in 2012, wealthy individuals and corporations tried to buy elections at every level of government. I, and many Americans like me, believe the current system reeks of nothing less than legalized bribery and that America's most pressing problem is not big government but rigged government... because Big Money will continue to prioritize profits over people ... in the process ransacking our economy, poisoning our environment and injuring American workers ... until held accountable by public disclosure reform.

America needs disclosure reform so our legislators are no longer bought and paid for by mega donors who expect special favors in return ... so our government is no longer beholden to corporate lobbyists. ... so our government can again be accountable to the voters that elect it.
 
We can’t address important issues ranging from deficit reduction, to tax reform, to education reform, to climate change until we solve the problem of big money controlling and corrupting our system. We must reduce the enormous influence that a tiny group of big corporations and moneyed interests hold over our elections.

Both shareholders and the public deserve to know how much a given corporation spends on politics (directly and through intermediaries), and which candidates are being promoted or attacked.

Moreover, such disclosure is essential to maintaining public trust in the integrity of our political system ... a trust which continues to steadily erode.

The words of Abraham Lincoln serve as a reminder and a warning to all Americans; if we fail to heed them we will be forced to repeat history: “I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country....corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war.”

Democracy cannot succeed without transparency. Please show the courage to lead on this issue ... for all Americans.

Thank you for considering my comment.

 

Sincerely,

Rose Ann Witt