Risky Business? Corporate Political Spending, Shareholder Approval, and Stock Volatility

In this updated study by Associate Professor of Political Science and Business Administration at the University of Rochester, David Primo, and Saumya Prabhat, former Assistant Professor of Finance at the Indian School of Business and current Quantitative Analytics Supervisor at Freddie Mac, the authors utilize a quasi-natural experiment to examine whether disclosure and shareholder approval […]

Filed Under: Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance Research, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure, External Relations Sub-Pages, Faulty Assumptions, Research, Activist Investing, and Referendums Act of 2000, Center for Competitive Politics, corporate disclosure, David Primo, Elections, First Amendment, Fortune 500 Companies, lobbying, money in politics, NCR, Neill Committee Report, Political Parties, PPERA, Saumya Prabhat, Shareholder Approval, Disclosure, Faulty Assumptions, Disclosure, Faulty Assumptions

Did hundreds of thousands of “investors” really write “personally” to the SEC on corporate disclosure? No, not really.

As followers of this blog will know, for the last four years Democrats and others on the political left have been trying to get new mandatory disclosure requirements on spending related to politics. When this effort failed in Congress with the defeat of the so-called DISCLOSE Act, the effort went to the Federal Election Commission. […]

Filed Under: Blog, Communications, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Featured Content, Uncategorized, baa-baas, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Common Cause, corporate disclosure, DISCLOSE, Disclose Act, fraudulent claims, goo-goos, John Coates, public citizen, SEC, SEC Rulemaking, Securities and Exchange Commission

Blatant Partisanship and Outright Misinformation: Public Citizen’s Press Conference

Yesterday’s Public Citizen event calling for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to promulgate a rule forcing corporations to disclose their political spending was a disappointing mixture of blatant partisanship and outright misinformation. Headlined by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) – for the first twenty minutes or so – Public Citizen’s panel […]

Filed Under: Blog, Communications, Corporate Governance Press Release/In the News/Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, campaign finance, campaign finance reform, corporate contributions, corporate disclosure, corporate governance, corporate speech, First Amendment, IRS and the Tea Party, money in politics, proxy, public citizen

New Study Debunks Myth of “Corporate Takeover” of American Elections

In urging support for the DISCLOSE Act back in 2010, President Obama said, “A vote to oppose these reforms is nothing less than a vote to allow corporate and special interest takeovers of our elections.” This was not the first time the President echoed left-wing groups’ hysterical claims about the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, Super PACs, corporate contributions, corporate disclosure, corporate speech, corporations, DISCLOSE, Disclose Act, First Amendment, free speech, independent expenditure, super PAC

Darn those shareholders – don’t they know what’s good for them?

Proxy results keep rolling in, and shareholders keep voting against proposals to force more disclosure of corporate political activity, despite the continued assurances by dedicated “reformers” that “shareholders are demanding this information” and that “shareholders will benefit.” The latest results of the proxy season, keep refuting those contentions. Here are the latest proxy vote totals, with […]

Filed Under: Blog, Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance Press Release/In the News/Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Featured Content, Bank of America, corporate disclosure, Danaher Corp., Entergy Corp., Motorola, SEC, UPS, Verizon

Are shareholders demanding more corporate disclosure? Proxy results continue to say “No.”

As campaign finance activists and Democratic Party shills continue to urge the SEC to involve itself in campaign finance – in this case by requiring corporations to disclose publicly their trade association dues, contributions to 501(c) organizations, and all other expenditures that might at some point end up supporting the corporation’s political interests, one argument […]

Filed Under: Blog, Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance Federal, Corporate Governance Press Release/In the News/Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Featured Content, Federal, Federal Press Releases and Blogs, Chubb, corporate disclosure, EMC Corp., General Dynamics, IBM, Manhattan Institute, SEC, Valero Energy

Two more examples of shareholders’ actual views on mandated political disclosure

The Manhattan Institute’s indispensible Proxy Monitor reports two more overwhelming shareholder votes against disclosure of immaterial political expenditures. At Humana, a union introduced measure got just 20.7 percent affirmative votes; a disclosure proposal fared much worse  at CIGNA, getting just 6.2% support. We’ve been summarizing the votes here. Disclosure measures are now 0-14 when voted […]

Filed Under: Blog, Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance Press Release/In the News/Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, CIGNA, corporate disclosure, Humana, Proxy Monitor, SEC

Shareholders make their views known: they don’t want mandatory disclosure of political activity

Read more from Brad on this issue here. It used to be that the standard line of the “reform” community was that corporations had to be barred from partisan political activity because they would get a huge return on their lobbying and political spending – which presumably would benefit shareholders (albeit, they would argue, at […]

Filed Under: Blog, Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance Press Release/In the News/Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Abbott Labs, AFSCME, Amalgamated Bank, american electric power, AT&T, Bank of America, Boston Common Asset Management, center for political accountability, Chubb, CIGNA, Citigroup, corporate disclosure, Danaher Corp., DuPont, e-bay, EMC Corp., Entergy Corp., General Dynamics, Harrington Investments, Humana, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Lockheed-Martin, Marathon, Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Motorola, New York State Retirement Fund, NorthStar Asset Management, praxair, proxy votes, Sisters of St. Francis, starbucks, United Parcel Service, UPS, Valero, Verizon, Visa, walden asset management

First of the spring proxy votes again show little shareholder interest in corporate political disclosure

Note: An earlier version of this post incorrectly claimed that Walden Asset Management had submitted a proposal at Praxair, and that they encouraged shareholders to decrease exposure in companies considering their proposals. Walden has never submitted a proposal at Praxiar. The post has been corrected to read Northstar Asset Management. Partisan political hacks and partisan […]

Filed Under: Blog, Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance Press Release/In the News/Blog, Disclosure, Featured Content, american electric power, center for political accountability, corporate disclosure, e-bay, praxair, proxy facts, proxy season, SEC, sheldon whitehouse, starbucks, walden asset management

Materiality and corporate political disclosure

Alison Frankel yesterday discussed shareholder activism in an interesting blog post on Thomson Reuters. She references my concerns about the relationship between materiality and corporate political disclosure. For the interested, I’d like to expand on the concept. What do you mean by “materiality.” In this context, I’m referring to material facts. That is: a fact […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, corporate disclosure, materiality, District Of Columbia