January 19, 2012
I am deeply concerned about the influence of corporate money on our electoral process.
In particular, I am appalled that, because of the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, publicly traded corporations can spend investor's money on political activity in secret.
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.
It is very important that it be determined if this money is being declared as a business expense, and deducted from taxes. Private citizens may not deduct such "donations" as expenses. There is a need to answer many questions. Are such donations approved by stockholders? Are there conflicts of interest involved, any quid pro quo? Without transparency and accountability how will the truth be known?
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 SEC's web site.
Thank you for considering my comment.
Mary Ann Dresher