According to the Hufffington Post (White House Guts Reform To Protect CEO Pay, 6/17/10), the White House is behind the latest move to kill proxy access at the request of the Business Roundtable.
When questioned on the issue, a White House spokesperson responded: “It was not part of our original proposals, and we have not taken a position explicitly.”
However, Two months ago, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Neal Wolin addressed the Council of Institutional Investors and explicitly supported the provision.
The Senate bill will make clear that the SEC has unambiguous authority to issue rules permitting shareholder access to the proxy. We support that proposal… the principle is clear: long-term shareholders meeting reasonable ownership thresholds should have the ability to hold board members accountable by proposing alternatives and making their voices heard.
If Valerie Jarrett, a senior White House adviser and the administration;s liaison to the Business Roundtable is behind this latest move, Obama can only regain credibility by firing her and advocating proxy access provisions be retained in the conference committee bill. We can’t all move to Canada.