Tag Archives | lobbying

FedEx Fights Proxy Access, Lobbying Disclosure

FedEx Fights for a democratic-free zone @ 9/25/2017  annual meeting. Seeks to maintain fake proxy access; refuses to disclose lobbying payments; wants to continue to monitor say-on-pay vote to lobby those who vote against; wants to disrespect human rights where allowed by state laws.

FedEx Corporation provides transportation, e-commerce, and business services worldwide.  FedEx is one of many stocks in my portfolio. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of two fund families when I checked and voted. Their annual meeting is coming up on September 25, 2017. Vote today. If you have already voted, and want to change your vote, you can. Your last vote will override the previous vote. More than 90% of retail shareholders don’t bother to vote, so think of yourself as voting for 10.

I voted FOR Proxy Access Amendments and all the other shareholder proposals. See how and why I voted other items below. I voted with the Board’s recommendations only 25% of the time. View Proxy Statement via SEC’s EDGAR system (look for DEF 14A). Continue Reading →

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Caterpillar Inc Proxy Voting Guide

Caterpillar Inc Proxy Statement

Caterpillar Inc Proxy Voting Guide by CorpGov.net

Sorry, this Caterpillar Inc Proxy Voting Guide comes late, since tomorrow is the last day to vote unless you attend the annual meeting. Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) manufactures and sells construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives for heavy and general construction, rental, quarry, aggregate, mining, waste, material handling, oil and gas, power generation, marine, rail, and industrial markets. Caterpillar is one of the stocks in my portfolio. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of two fund families when I checked and voted on the last day. Their annual meeting is coming up on June 14, 2017.

I voted FOR our proposal to reduce the threshold required to hold a special meeting. See how and why I voted other items below. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 70% of the time. View Proxy Statement via SEC’s EDGAR system (look for DEF 14A). Continue Reading →

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Citi (C): Proxy Vote Score 48

Citigroup Inc. (Citi, NYSE: C), a diversified financial services holding company, provides various financial products and services for consumers, corporations, governments, and institutions worldwide. Citi logoCiti is one of the stocks in my portfolio. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of three fund families when I checked and voted. Their annual meeting is coming up on April 25, 2017.

I voted AGAINST pay and committee members, FOR all shareholder proposals. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 48% of the time. View Proxy Statement. Continue Reading →

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International Business Machines Corporation Proxy

International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE: IBM) provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide.  IBM is one of the stocks in my portfolio. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of two fund families when I checked and voted. Their annual meeting is coming up on April 25, 2017. I voted FOR Proxy Access, Special Meeting amendments and report on lobbying. See how and why I voted these and other items below. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 42% of the time. View Proxy Statement (index on page 4). Continue Reading →

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Walt Disney Company: Proxy Score 25

Walt Disney Company

Walt Disney Company: before you vote your proxy

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), together with its subsidiaries, operates as an entertainment company worldwide.

The Walt Disney Company is one of the stocks in my portfolio. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of three fund families when I checked and voted. Their annual meeting is coming up on March 8, 2017.

I voted FOR Proxy Access Amendments. See how and why I voted other items below. I voted with the Board’s recommendations only 25% of the time. View Proxy Statement via iiWisdom. Continue Reading →

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Facebook Inc: Equal Voting

Facebook IncFacebook Inc (NASD:FB), one of the companies in my portfoliobuilds products that enable people to connect and share through mobile devices and personal computers. Their annual meeting is coming up on June 20, 2016.

ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of three fund families when I checked. Vote AGAINST pay, pay committee, board; FOR all shareholder proposals. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 13% of the time. View Proxy Statement via iiWisdom. Continue Reading →

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Alphabet: Proxy Score 5

AlphabetAlphabet (GOOGL), one of the companies in my portfolio, is a holding company. The Company holds interests in Google Inc. (Google). The Company’s segments include Google and Other Bets. Google segment includes Internet products, such as Search, Ads, Commerce, Maps, YouTube, Apps, Cloud, Android, Chrome, Google Play, and hardware products, including Chromecast, Chromebooks and Nexus, which are sold by the Company. Their annual meeting is coming up on June 8, 2016.

ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of three fund families when I checked. Vote AGAINST the Board, Stock Plans, Articles; FOR auditor and all shareholder proposals. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 5% of the time. View Proxy Statement via iiWisdom. Continue Reading →

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Caterpillar Inc: Proxy Score 50

Caterpillar Inc

Caterpillar Inc

Caterpillar Inc $CAT is a manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. Their annual meeting is coming up on June 8, 2016.

ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of two fund families when I checked. Vote AGAINST pay, committee, auditor; FOR all shareholder proposals – lobbying report, written consent, independent chairman. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 71% of the time. View Proxy Statement via iiWisdom. Continue Reading →

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Boeing Co: Proxy Score 53

Boeing CoBoeing Co (NYSE:BA, $BA) operates through five segments: Commercial Airplanes, Boeing Military Aircraft (BMA), Network & Space Systems (N&SS), Global Services & Support (GS&S) and Boeing Capital (BCC). It is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on May 2, 2016. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of 1 fund when I checked. Vote AGAINST pay, compensation committee; FOR proposals on lobbying, special meeting, independent chair; ABSTAIN on Isreal. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 53% of the time. View Proxy Statement.

Read Warnings below. What follows are my recommendations on how to vote the proxy in order to enhance corporate governance and long-term value. Continue Reading →

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American Express Company: Proxy Score 38

American Express CompanyAmerican Express Company (NYSE:AXP, $AXP) provides charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to consumers and businesses worldwide. It is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on May 2, 2016. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of three funds when I checked. Vote AGAINST pay, committee, incentive plan, overboarded director. FOR all other items in the proxy, including shareholder proposals. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 88% of the time. View Proxy Statement.

Read Warnings below. What follows are my recommendations on how to vote the proxy in order to enhance corporate governance and long-term value. Continue Reading →

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ATT: Proxy Score 50

ATTATT, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) provides telecommunications and digital entertainment services through four segments: Business Solutions, Entertainment Group, Consumer Mobility, and International. It is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on April 29, 2016. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of four funds when I checked. I voted AGAINST the pay plan, compensation committee, and stock plan. Vote FOR independent chair, disclose lobbying and political contributions. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 50% of the time. View Proxy Statement.

Read Warnings below. What follows are my recommendations on how to vote the proxy in order to enhance corporate governance and long-term value. Continue Reading →

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JNJ: Proxy Score 53

JNJJNJ, Johnson&Johnson (NYSE: $JNJ) researches, develops, manufactures, and sells various products in the health care field worldwide through three segments: Consumer, Pharmaceutical, and Medical Devices. It is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on April 28, 2016. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of two funds when I checked. I voted AGAINST the pay plan, compensation committee & favoring share buybacks. Vote FOR independent chair, disclose lobbying and report on drug take-back programs. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 53% of the time. View Proxy Statement.

Read Warnings below. What follows are my recommendations on how to vote the proxy in order to enhance corporate governance and long-term value. Continue Reading →

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Citigroup Inc: Proxy Score 52

Citigroup IncCitigroup Inc (NYSE:C, $C) is  a diversified financial services holding company, provides various financial products and services for consumers, corporations, governments, and institutions worldwide. It operates through two segments, Citicorp and Citi Holdings. It is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on April 26, 2016. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of zero funds when I checked. I voted AGAINST the pay plan, compensation committee, Michael L. Corbat who owns no shares, and the Omnibus Stock Plan. I voted FOR all other proposals, including the shareholder proposals. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 52% of the time. View Proxy Statement.

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GE – General Electric: Proxy Score 58

GEGE, General Electric Company (NYSE:$GE) is a diversified infrastructure and financial services company with products and services ranging from aircraft engines, power generation, oil and gas production equipment, and household appliances to medical imaging, business and consumer financing and industrial products. It is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on April 27, 2016.

ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of zero funds when I checked. Vote AGAINST pay plan, compensation committee, proposals on Performance-Based Equity Awards & Country Selection. Vote FOR report on lobbying, independent chair, and Holy Land Principles – voting with the Board’s recommendations 58% of the time. View Proxy Statement. Continue Reading →

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International Business Machines: Proxy Score 21

International Business MachinesInternational Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM, $IBM) provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. It is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on April 26, 2016. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of four funds when I checked. I voted AGAINST the pay plan, and most of the directors. I voted FOR the report on lobbying, written consent, split CEO/Board Chair positions – voting with the Board’s recommendations 21% of the time. View Proxy Statement.

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Lobbying Disclosure Sought by Investors

lobbying disclosureLobbying disclosure is sought by shareholder resolutions filed at 50 companies by 66 institutional and individual investors.

Corporate lobbying disclosure remains a top shareholder proposal topic for 2016. At least 66 investors have filed proposals at 50 companies asking for lobbying reports that include federal and state lobbying payments, payments to trade associations used for lobbying, and payments to any tax-exempt organization that writes and endorses model legislation. Political activity remains a top investor topic for the sixth consecutive year, with more than 90 proposals filed for 2016 that seek disclosure of either lobbying or political contributions. Continue Reading →

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Investors to Oil: Disclose Climate Lobbying

Influence Map to Disclose Climate Lobbying

Influence Map to Disclose Climate Lobbying

Disclose Climate Lobbying: Resolutions Filed at Oil and Gas Companies

Encouraged by the forward‐looking actions addressing climate change at the Paris Climate Conference (COP21) in December, investors have filed shareholder resolutions at 11 oil and gas companies asking them to disclose climate lobbying activities. The resolutions urge the companies to fully disclose their lobbying activities and expenses (direct and indirect through trade associations) and to review their public policy advocacy on energy policy and climate change. Let’s get oil and gas companies to disclose climate lobbying! I sincerely hope readers of Corporate Governance (CorpGov.net) will vote in favor of these resolutions as they appear on corporate proxies. Monitor how others are voting at Proxy Democracy. If you own stock in other oil and gas companies, consider filing similar resolutions. Don’t know how? Check out our Shareowner Action Handbook. Take Action! Continue Reading →

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ICGN Boston 2015, Part 1: Political Lobbying Donations

George Dallas

George Dallas, Political Lobbying Donations

This year’s ICGN event in Boston was a real treasure, beginning with the panel on Political Lobbying Donations. I loved the fact that ICGN was held back to back with CII at the same hotel. I took a few notes at the conference and will share some of them with readers. I’m not a very fast note taker, these posts haven’t been checked for accuracy and I haven’t taken the time to edit the prose to make complete well-flowing sentences. Still, I hope you find them of some value.ICGN Continue Reading →

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Google Inc.: Proxy Score 39

googleGoogle Inc. (GOOG), a technology company that builds products and provides services to organize the information, is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 6/3/2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had the vote of one fund when I checked and voted on 5/28/2015.  I voted with management 39% of the time and assigned Google Inc. a proxy score of 39.

View Proxy Statement. Read Warnings below. What follows are my recommendations on how to vote the Google Inc. 2015 proxy in order to enhance corporate governance and long-term value. Continue Reading →

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JPMorgan Chase (JPM): Proxy Voting Recommendations

JPMorgan I don’t hold shares of JPMorgan Chase (JPM) in my portfolio but the shareholder proposals that will be voted this year deal with crucial issues that will come up at many other companies this proxy season. I received the following letter from shareholders urging readers to vote for a proposal requesting a report on lobbying at JPMorgan Chase and thought it worth your attention, especially given that I had already blogged about a resolution seeking to end government service golden parachutes also to be voted at JPMorgan Chase, as well as voted collected by ProxyDemocracy.org. I would vote in favor of all the shareholder proposals, if I owned the stock. Continue Reading →

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American Express Company (AXP): Proxy Score 42

American ExpressAmerican Express Company (NYSE:AXP) is a global payments and travel company. The company, through its subsidiaries, offers products and services including charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to consumers and businesses around the world. It is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 5/11/2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had the votes of four funds when I checked and voted on 5/4/2015. I voted with management 42% of the time and assigned American Express a proxy score of 42.

View Proxy Statement. Read Warnings below. What follows are my recommendations on how to vote the American Express 2015 proxy in order to enhance corporate governance and long-term value. Continue Reading →

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Citigroup Inc (C): Proxy Score 48

citigroupCitigroup Inc (C), which provides various financial products and services for consumers, corporations, governments, and institutions worldwide, is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 4/28/2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had the vote of three funds when I checked and voted on 4/21/2015. I voted with management 48% of the time and assigned Citigroup a proxy score of 48. Continue Reading →

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International Business Machines (IBM): Proxy Score 50

IBMIBM (International Business Machines Corp.), which provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide, is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 4/28/2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had the vote of four funds when I checked and voted on 4/21/2015. I voted with management 50% of the time and assigned IBM a proxy score of 50.

View Proxy Statement. Read Warnings below. What follows are my recommendations on how to vote the IBM 2015 proxy in order to enhance corporate governance and long-term value. Continue Reading →

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Boeing Co (BA): Proxy Score 47

BoeingBoeing Co (BA), which designs, develops, manufactures, sells, services, and supports commercial jetliners, military aircraft, satellites, missile defense, human space flight, and launch systems and services worldwide, is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 4/27/2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had the vote of one fund when I checked and voted on 4/21/2015. I voted with management 47% of the time and assigned Boeing a proxy score of 47. Continue Reading →

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Union Pacific (UNP): How I Voted – Proxy Score 13

Union Pacific (UNP) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 5/10/2012. Voting ends 5/9 on Moxy Vote’s proxy voting platform, which listed nine “good causes,” but three were consolidations, when I checked and voted on 5/7. ProxyDemocracy.org had 1 fund voting.UNP scores 13 out of 100, since I voted with management on only 13% of the proxy. Continue Reading →

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Lobbying Efforts Up: More Bills Coming

The 20 trade associations and companies that spent the most on lobbying increased their spending by more than 20% in 2009 to $507.7 million, up from $418.2 million a year earlier, according to a USA TODAY analysis of reports compiled by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce led spending, pumping $144.5 million into lobbying last year, according to the center’s tally. That’s a nearly 60% increase over 2008 and came as the business federation battled Congress and the White House over legislation dealing with health care and financial regulation. (Lobbying industry booms in recession, 2/5/2010) And this is before Citizens United opened the floodgates.

Sen. Sherrod Brown introduced a bill that would require corporations producing political ads or engaging in other independent campaign activities to get shareholders’ approval for political spending. The “Citizens Right to Know Act,” would also require corporate CEOs to appear in corporate sponsored political ads,  much as political candidates now appear briefly on camera or are heard on a radio ad taking responsibility for a spot.

His bill also would shore up protections against foreign companies spending money on U.S. elections by banning any company that has a foreign entity as a majority owner from making political expenditures. (Ohioan takes on corporate politicking, the Columbus Dispatch, 2/5/2010) More bills to come.

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A Fistful of Dollars: Lobbying and the Financial Crisis

On December 31, 2007, the Wall Street Journal reported that Ameriquest Mortgage and Countrywide Financial spent respectively $20.5 million and $8.7 million in political donations, campaign contributions, and lobbying activities from 2002 through 2006 to defeat of anti-predatory lending legislation. Such anecdotal evidence suggests that the political influence of the financial industry contributed to the 2007 mortgage crisis, which, in the fall of 2008, generalized in the worst bout of financial instability since the Great Depression.

Using detailed information on lobbying and mortgage lending activities, Deniz Igan, Prachi Mishra, and Thierry Tressel find that lenders lobbying more on issues related to mortgage lending (i) had higher loan-to-income ratios, (ii) securitized more intensively, and (iii) had faster growing portfolios. Ex-post, delinquency rates are higher in areas where lobbyist’ lending grew faster and they experienced negative abnormal stock returns during key crisis events. The findings are robust to (i) falsification tests using lobbying on issues unrelated to mortgage lending, (ii) a difference-in-difference approach based on state-level laws, and (iii) instrumental variables strategies.

These results show that lobbying lenders engage in riskier lending. The authors conclude their study provides some support to the view that the prevention of future crises might require weakening political influence of the financial industry or closer monitoring of lobbying activities to understand the incentives behind better.

Igan, Deniz, Mishra, Prachi and Tressel, Thierry, A Fistful of Dollars: Lobbying and the Financial Crisis (December 2009). IMF Working Papers, Vol. , pp. 1-71, 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1531520

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