April 18, 2012
Please consider this message as our comment on File No. 4-637. I would like to see the SEC adopt a rule requiring publicly traded corporations to publicly disclose their political spending.
This disclosure is appropriate because the shareholders and the public need to know about the degree of risk in which the company is being placed by political contributions. No such risk was possible until the Supreme Court ruled in the Citizens United case, allowing corporations to spend money on political contributions without any disclosure to the shareholders or to the public.
My wife and I own shares of corporate stocks and of mutual funds that are invested in corporate stocks. We want to know how these companies are using money that otherwise would be invested in the business or would be declared as dividends to shareholders.
Corporations should be required to post information on the dollars expended on political contributions and the specific candidates and political committees (such as PACs or super-PACs) to which those contributions were given. Shareholders are entitled to reach their own conclusions on how the election of certain candidates would affect the business and would affect the value of the stocks they own.
Thank you for considering my views.