Tag Archives | Citizens United

Video Friday: Moyers

Bill Moyers is back on television! Here is a recent episode of “Moyers and Company,” which asks: “how did our political and financial class shift the benefits of the economy to the very top, while saddling us with greater debt and tearing new (more…)

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Trillium & Green Century Mark Citizens United Anniversary With Resolutions Urging Halt to Political Donations

On the 2nd anniversary of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, two investment firms announce that they have filed shareholder resolutions at three companies, Bank of America, 3M & Target Corporation, urging them to refrain from making political donations in the future. This is the first time institutional shareholders have (more…)

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Complexity Theory & Corporate Governance Failures

Catching up on a couple of noteworthy reviews from recent issues of Corporate Governance: an International Review. Corporate Governance and Complexity Theory by Marc Goergen, Christine Mallin, Eve Mitleton-Kelly, Ahmed Al-Hawamde and Iris Hse-Yu Chiu.  Reviewer Diane Denis was hoping the application of complexity theory would lead to insights concerning how and where problems arise, […]

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Maryland First to Address Citizens United

With the House controlled by Republicans, we are not likely to see positive action to control or at least require disclosure of political spending by corporations. However, states may be jumping in to take some action. Under a new Maryland law, which takes effect December 1, 2011, a (more…)

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Bill Moyers on the Patriot's Dream

Bill Moyers has been a long-time hero for me, right up there with Bob Monks and Bob Tricker. In an address on the 40th anniversary celebration of Public Citizen, Moyers had some choice words. Below are a few snippets: Our politicians are little more than money launderers in the trafficking of power and policy – fewer […]

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Two Opportunities to Shape the Future

First, the IRRC Deadline of November 18 for Research Entries approaches. This is your chance to change the predominant paradigm of Modern Portfolio Theory. Second, Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) extended the comment period on their 2012 proxy voting policies until November 7th.  Institutional investors, individual investors, corporate issuers, and governance market participants are invited to provide feedback on ISS’ […]

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Support Grows for Transparency in Corporate Political Spending

A group of 43 House Democrats is urged the SEC to require public companies to disclose their political contributions. The Council of Institutional Investors also sent a comment letter on a petition (File Number 4-637) filed by prominent law professors. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D., N.Y.) and 42 other House colleague argue the high court’s ruling in the […]

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Support Rulemaking Petition on Corporate Political Spending

A group of ten very prominent corporate and securities law experts submitted a formal rulemaking petition to the SEC last week urging the Commission to develop rules requiring public companies to disclose the use of corporate resources for political activities to shareowners. Please take a few minutes to join with me writing an e-mail to the SEC in […]

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Shareholder Protection Act

The Story of Stuff people did a great job of creating a video about Citizens United, asking for a Constitutional Amendment limiting corporate influence…very ambitious but unlikely to provide a solution anytime soon. The SEC ruled that shareowner proposals calling for approval of political spending must be included on the company’s proxy card and put […]

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Conference Board to Examine Corporate Political Spending

The Conference Board formed a committee of representatives from Fortune 500 companies and “corporate citizenship executives” to research issues related to disclosure and accountability of corporate political spending and develop a  report by fall that will provide corporations with a toolkit of resources to strengthen their governance practices in this area. The current member companies […]

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Target & Citizens United

I’m on vacation, visiting friends in Boaton before Yale Governance forum but this looks noteworthy: More than 100 protesters bearing signs with messages such as “Hands Off our Elections,” “Corporations are not people,” and “No Mouth, No Soul, No $peech” rallied outside of the not-yet-opened Target store in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pa. […]

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How I Voted: Home Depot

Home Depot (HD) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up June 2. ProxyDemocracy.org had five funds voting. Checking the Summary Compensation Table, it appears CEO/Chair Francis S. Blake was paid about $10.5 million. Using the United States Proxy Exchange (USPX) released draft guidelines, I am voting against most pay packages over […]

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Kodak Agrees to Green Century Request for Political Transparency

Green Century Capital Management, Inc., a Boston-based investment adviser to the environmentally responsible Green Century Funds, announced that Eastman Kodak Company (Kodak) joins 79 other companies that have agreed to greater political transparency and accountability, according to the Center for Political Accountability (CPA). Kodak will provide increased transparency on its payments to trade associations and […]

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Video Friday: IR Video Goes Viral

Corning’s 6-minute video for CEO Wendell Weeks’ presentation to institutional investors and analysts in New York Feb. 4th has become the most-watched corporate video of all time on YouTube with more than 8.8 million views. It showcases potential (more…)

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Video Friday: Citizens United via StoryofStuff.org

In 2011, investors including many of our managers are filing 83 different corporate political spending shareholder resolutions. The motivation for these resolutions comes directly from the landmark decision by the Supreme Court in Citizen’s United vs. Federal Election Commission case that permits corporations to spend freely to influence American elections. By now, most people are […]

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Video Friday: Robert Monks on CorpGov & Public Interest

Robert A.G. Monks has a new site and blog. It looks great. Read his Response to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Report: Part 1. Monks once again identifies owners as the appropriate party to monitor corporate management. He notes that Greenspan was not only mistaken in his belief that corporations will preserve and enhance their own value, but […]

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Shareholders Can End Political Ad Secrecy

This month marks the first anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court Citizens United decision striking down restrictions on independent political spending by corporations and unions. But heated national debate continues. Major controversy has erupted over independent or third party organizations channeling secret donations into the elections. President Obama strongly criticized the decision, stating that it […]

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Vermont State Senator Seeks to Redefine Persons as Human Beings

Vermont, state senator Virginia Lyons introduced a bill to seek an amendment to the US Constitution providing that corporations are not persons. The movement is in reaction to the Supreme Court’s  Citizens United decision, which allows unlimited corporate spending in elections as a form of “free speech” for the corporate “person.” According to dissenting Justice […]

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Disclosure & Board Oversight of Political Spending Weak: Contributions Negatively Correlated with Firm Value

A new study finds that while nearly 80 percent of S&P 500 companies have disclosed direct political campaign spending policies, 86 percent have no disclosed policies regarding indirect political expenditures. Additionally, only 20 percent of corporations disclose how much is actually spent and which organizations or causes receive the funds. Key research findings include: Nearly […]

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Citizens United: Most Won't Engage But Won't Monitor Either

Back in July, I signed onto a letter from the Center for Political Accountability, Walden Asset Management and Domini Social Investment asking companies about their use of new corporate political spending routes opened up by the Citizens United decision. As of October 7, 2010, 68 companies have formally responded, with several more responses expected. 35 […]

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How Companies Influence Elections: Webinar

The Investor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC) Institute and Sustainable Investments Institute (Si2) will host a webinar on Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 3 PM ET to review the findings of a new study, “How Companies Influence Elections: Political Campaign Spending Patterns and Oversight at America’s Largest Companies.” Pre-register for the webinar here. The study is […]

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Video Friday

VoterMedia.org is a website that helps a community connect with its elected leaders, by letting voters allocate community funds to competing blogs. It motivates the bloggers to become community media. In this video, students at the University of British Columbia talk about how VoterMedia has helped their student union, which is called the Alma Mater […]

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Shareholder Protection Act of 2010

The House Financial Services Committee approved a bill that would require companies to obtain investor approval before spending more than $50,000 per year in general corporate funds on political activities. H.R. 4790, the “Shareholder Protection Act of 2010,” was inspired by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in January, which lifted restrictions on independent expenditures […]

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Big Oil Operating out of Mailbox Etc. to Smear Betsy Butler

A consortium of 56 of the biggest corporations in America, including ExxonMobil, Shell Oil, and BP have united to spend over $500,000 in just a single local election to defeat Betsy Butler, running for the California State Assembly in the 53rd district. She’s supported by environmental groups. How is the consortium doing it? By linking […]

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CorpGov Bites

What’s the difference between the role of advisors and a board of directors for a start-up? At what point in your development should you build each group? Tips for creating an Advisory Board or Board of Directors: choosing the right people, defining objectives and expectations and compensation issues (i.e. What’s in it for them?) Common […]

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Murray Hill Inc. for Congress

“Until now, corporate interests had to rely on campaign contributions and influence-peddling to achieve their goals in Washington,” Murray Hill Inc. a  public relations firm, said in a statement. “But thanks to an enlightened Supreme Court, now we can eliminate the middle-man and run for office ourselves.” William Klein, a “hired gun” who has been […]

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CorpGov Bites

“In many ways, 2010 is the Foundation Proxy Season. By next year, the world will be changed. It is likely that both say-on-pay and proxy-access measures will be mandated. Directors will undoubtedly face greater scrutiny and more challenges than ever before. As a result of these impending challenges, boards must use the 2010 season to […]

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