Nov. 14, 2017
Vanguard Shareholder Will Deliver 22,000 Signatures to Raise Voices on Political Disclosure
Denied Right to Speak at Annual Shareholder Meeting, Petitioner Aims to Raise Investor Voices
WHAT: Delivery of 22,000 petition signatures at Vanguard’s Nov. 15 shareholder meeting, urging Vanguard to support corporate political spending and lobbying disclosure.
On Nov. 15, the Vanguard Group will hold its first shareholder meeting since 2009, its first meeting since the U.S. Supreme Court’s disastrous 2010 Citizens United ruling, which opened the floodgates for corporate spending to inundate our elections. Since Vanguard’s last meeting, the crisis of secret money dominating our politics has intensified.
In the 2016 election alone, nondisclosing or “dark money” groups spent nearly $185 million to influence candidates and elections. They already have spent more than $12 million on the 2018 cycle.
Public Citizen’s Rachel Curley is also a Vanguard investor, with a vested interested in encouraging change at the investment company. And she’s not alone. Curley will deliver more than 22,000 petition signatures from Vanguard investors nationwide. These investors are requesting that the company change its proxy voting policy and always vote in favor of political spending and lobbying disclosure shareholder proposals.
“Vanguard officials say they will not make time for statements from shareholders that are not strictly related to the items on the proxy,” said Rachel Curley, democracy associate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “Even if shareholders have traveled thousands of miles to attend the meeting, Vanguard will not hear our voices on political disclosure. Perhaps they will read them instead.”
The Vanguard group says its mission is to “do the right thing” and that it has a responsibility to protect American families who are saving for their retirement with Vanguard. Public Citizen maintains that the company should be encouraging public companies to take seriously and disclose any risks from political engagement and all other environmental, social and governance issues to protect its investors.
WHO: Rachel Curley, Vanguard investor and democracy associate with Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division
WHEN: 8 a.m. PDT Wednesday, Nov. 15
WHERE: DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Paradise Valley
5401 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, Ariz.
VISUALS: Curley will have signs and deliver more than 22,000 Vanguard investor petitions