Trumpworld Update: The Tale of the SEC Chair and His Phony Letters

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

SEC chairman Jay Clayton favors a policy that restricts the rights of dissenting shareholders. And guess what? So do ordinary folks! According to a pile of letters Clayton produced, anyway:

But a close look at the seven letters Clayton highlighted, and about two dozen others submitted to the SEC by supposedly regular people, shows they are the product of a misleading — and laughably clumsy — public relations campaign by corporate interests.

That retired teacher? Pauline Yee said she never wrote a letter, although the signature was hers. Those military vets? It turns out they’re the brother and cousin of the chairman of 60 Plus Assn., a Virginia advocacy group paid by corporate supporters of the SEC initiative. That single mom? Data embedded in the electronically submitted letter says someone at 60 Plus wrote it. That retired couple? Their son-in-law runs 60 Plus….Then there’s the public servant Clayton mentioned. Marie Reed’s letter has sharp words for proxy advisors, firms that counsel fund companies on how to vote at shareholder meetings. But when reached by phone in California, the retired state worker said she wasn’t familiar with the term. She said the letter originated with a public affairs firm that contacted her out of the blue.

Welcome to Trumpworld. Always lying and always favoring corporate interests. That’s about all you need to know.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.