Investors Interested in Company Political Contributions
By Steve Schueth
In this presidential election year, shareholders are increasingly curious about the political agendas of public companies, reports the Chicago Tribune.
More than 100 resolutions have been filed in 2012 asking companies to disclose what they spend on political advocacy, according to Institutional Shareholder Services, for the first time exceeding the number of resolutions filed on energy and environmental issues.
First Affirmative has been active on this issue. We co-filed two proxy resolutions at State Street and at J.P. Morgan Chase. We also signed a letter sponsored by US SIF, the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investing to the Securities and Exchange Commission in support of a rulemaking petition that asks the SEC to mandate political spending disclosure for all public companies
The growing shareholder pressure reflects a transformed political landscape where corporate interests and anonymous donors have greater influence on elections. Companies have always been active political participants, but a landmark 2010 Supreme Court decision expanded the scope of their spending.
Yet shareowners have barely a clue as to how companies are using their money in political campaigns.
NOTE: Mention of specific companies or securities should not be considered a recommendation to either buy or sell that security. For information regarding the suitability of any investment for your portfolio, please contact your financial advisor.
Posted: May 29, 2012