April 17, 2012

Subject: Comment on File Number 4-637

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.

CEOs of massive corporations are poised to secretly funnel millions of dollars from corporate coffers toward electing corporate candidates in 2012. They want to keep their spending in the dark. Thankfully, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has the authority to expose their hidden influence.

I urge you to require publicly traded corporations to disclose how they spend their money in politics. The U.S. Supreme Courtís disastrous ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission unleashed this flood of unaccountable corporate money. But the bulk of this corporate money actually belongs to shareholders Ė mostly working people who have a 401k or similar retirement plan.

As the federal agency with the job of protecting shareholders from corporate abuse, you can step in to stop Corporate America from using the publicís retirement savings and investments as its secret political war chest.

Shine sunlight on corporate spending in elections. Transparency in corporate political spending is important!
Publically-traded corporations disclosing how theyíre trying to influence elections is a first step that can make a big difference in 2012. Make sure that we can hold accountable the corporations that funnel money into Super PACs and other groups attempting to tilt the election without disclosing who they are.

I am deeply concerned about the influence of corporate money on our electoral process. 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.

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 SECís web site.

Thank you for considering my comment.

Judith DiNardo