January 24, 2012
I am ANGRY about the influence of corporate money on our electoral process. There is no way that a corporation with its enormous assets should be accorded the same rights as a private individual citizen.
In particular, 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. As of late January 2012, even the Republican candidates who supposedly benefit from these large contributions seem to be squirming and haggling about negative / erroneous superpac ads.
The Securities and Exchange Commission, like all of government, exists to promote the common good. To fulfill its responsibility in this case, the SEC can and must require publicly traded corporations to publicly disclose all their political spending. Disclosures should be posted immediately on the SECís web site. Shareholders, customers, and the voting public must be fully informed as to how much the corporation spends on politics and which candidates are being promoted or attacked.
Furthermore, I believe the disclosures must happen on the same day the corporation writes the check-not AFTER the voting is over in the primaries or elections that they are trying to influence! The voters have a right to know who is paying for the ads they are seeing. If the free speech argument is used to justify the corporations being able to give such large amounts of money, how can the speech (giving) and listening (disclosure) not happen on the same day? It smells really bad if corporations get to influence elections but their names and money are not revealed until after the vote. Of course, they may be afraid about receiving negative publicity for their company because of what they have done--and they SHOULD have to think about that! The rest of us have to think about it too!
Thank you for considering my comment.
Jefferson City, TN