I missed this bit of news until I read it in a 1/28/2014 PIRC Alerts from the UK. Corporate political donations remain a hot topic even though the SEC dropped it from its 2014 priority rulemakings. As I recall, it was the subject of the most proxy proposals last year.
A group of US Senators and Congressmen wrote to SEC Chair Mary Jo White asking the Commission, which has sent mixed messages, to require the disclosure of political donations by publicly traded US corporations.
Pressure for reform to provide transparency has grown since the 2010 Supreme Court decision in ‘Citizens United’ sparked renewed concerns that corporations are donating millions of dollars in what many argue are shareholder funds to political campaigns and for lobbying efforts without disclosure.
It isn’t too late to increase the number of comments in support of the petition from Lucian Bebchuk and Robert J. Jackson, Jr. and other academics. Maybe another 100,000 favorable comments would push them over the top. I urge readers to e-mail supporting comments. Send e-mails in support of the petition to [email protected]. The public is encouraged to submit comments on proposed rules. Here are your options.
- Use the Commission’s Internet comment form;
- Send an e-mail to [email protected]. Include File Number 4-637 in the subject line;
- Use the Federal eRulemaking Portal; or
- Send paper comments in triplicate to Elizabeth M. Murphy, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549-1090.
All submissions should refer to File Number 4-637. This file number should be included on the subject line if e-mail is used and that is the method I recommend. To avoid duplication or work at the SEC, use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on petitions on the Commission’s Internet website. Comments are also available in the Commission’s Public Reference Room, 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC, 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. See my comment letter here and a previous post on the petition here.