April 9, 2015
CORPORATE REFORM COALITION
Advocates and Investors to Preview Shareholder Resolutions Regarding Political Activity by 10 Large Public Companies, From Google to JPMorgan
Shareholders to Press Companies for Increased Transparency in Lobbying and Political Activity
WHAT: Advocates and investors will preview pending shareholder resolutions regarding disclosure of corporate political activity at Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Pfizer Inc., Duke Energy Corp., Chevron Corp., Google Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. Speakers will discuss the 2015 landscape and implications of these resolutions, the expected results of shareholder votes and the national effort to require all public companies to be more transparent about their political activities.
In April and May, shareholders of those companies will vote on proposals calling for more transparency in company political activity, including increased disclosure of lobbying expenditures and of funds that could be used to influence elections.
Since the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allowed corporations greater leeway to spend shareholder money to influence elections, political groups that do not have to disclose their corporate donors have spent nearly $650 million in federal elections.
In reaction to this surge of dark money, since 2010, shareholders have filed more than 500 proxy resolutions (PDF) to ensure that shareholders are informed of company political activity. This year, resolutions on corporate political activity account for more than a quarter (112) of social and environmental issue-related proposals – making them one of the most popular proposals. Moreover, a rulemaking petition at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to require disclosure of corporate political spending has received a record level of support, with more than one million comments submitted – the vast majority in support.
WHEN: 1 p.m. EDT Tuesday, April 14
WHO: Susan Harley, deputy director, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, moderator
Tim Smith, director of shareowner engagement, Walden Asset Management
Courtney Hight, director, Sierra Club’s Democracy Program
Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director, U.S. PIRG
Todd O’Boyle, director for media and democracy, Common Cause
CALL-IN: (530) 881-1300; access code: 808556#
The Corporate Reform Coalition is made up of more than 75 organizations and individuals from good governance groups, environmental groups and organized labor, and includes elected officials and socially responsible investors. The coalition seeks to promote corporate governance solutions to combat undisclosed money in elections. For more information, please visit www.CorporateReformCoalition.org.