August 14, 2009
Dear Ms. Murphy:
In 1993, I opened a small office in my home and began seeking work as an independent software contractor. This work has been the most satisfying and rewarding of my career. My plans were to continue as an independent contractor until I chose to retire. Unfortunately, the SEC is seeking changes to shareholder proxy rules that could severely affect my bottom line and force me to seek an alternative career.
As an independent contractor, I must maintain an office with all the latest computer hardware and software in order to meet my clients? needs. There are other considerable costs involved, such as maintaining my office equipment and supplies, a high-speed internet connection, travel expenses to meet with current and potential clients, as well as the occasional need to sub-contract work out to other programmers. The new rules will increase the cost of doing business and raise the price of supplies. As an individual working in this current economy, I cannot afford to take on much more expense.
These new rules also give special interest and fringe groups the ability to spend the money of the companies they target. There is the potential for these groups to load a board of directors with people who know nothing about the business. This in turn will increase their cost of doing business and make these companies less profitable.
Software development is highly dependent on free capital. If a company faces a budget problem, they may decide not to do any further development of their software or attempt to make due with off the shelf software. This raises costs for everyone down the line because the software is inefficient and is not designed for the specific task. These new rules are simply the latest example of increased government interference into matters best left to the professionals in their respective fields. Please do not put me out of business through your desire to politicize the election of board members.