Tag Archives | political contributions

BlackRock 2019 Proxy Voting Guide

BlackRock 2019 annual meeting is May 23. To enhance long-term shareholder value, vote AGAINST directors Murry Gerber; Jessica Einhorn; William Ford; Margaret Johnson, Cheryl Mills; Gordon Nixon; Ivan Seidenberg; and Marco Antonio Slim Domit, as well as pay and the auditor. Vote FOR shareholder proposals to report lobbying and move to a simple majority voting standard. Continue Reading →

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Dark Money: Will it Hurt State Farm?

Dark money risk is highlighted in recent fine. State Farm agreed to a $250 million settlement last week for $4 million in contributions it allegedly steered through conduits to Illinois State Supreme Court candidate Lloyd Karmeier. Where is the outrage over dark money?

Said Bruce Freed, president of the Center for Political Accountability (CPA).

This case should be a wake-up call to companies of the high price they can pay when they try to hide their political spending, At a time when companies are under heightened pressure to give through secretive non-profits and trade associations, political transparency and accountability are critical for protecting their reputation and treasury.

It should also alert journalists to the need to pay much greater attention to ‘dark money’ that is flooding this year’s state and federal elections.

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NEE Nextera Energy Proxy Recommendations

NEE Nextera Energy. through its subsidiaries, generates, transmits, distributes, and sells electric power to retail and wholesale customers in North America. Most shareholders do not vote because reading through 100+ pages of the proxy is not worth the time for the small difference your vote will make. Below, I tell you how I am voting and why.

If you have read these posts related to my portfolio for the last 22 years, have values aligned with mine, and trust my judgment (or you don’t want to take the time to read it), go immediately to see how I voted my ballot. Voting will take you only a minute or two and every vote counts.

The annual meeting is coming up on May 24, 2018. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 44% of the time. View Proxy Statement via SEC’s EDGAR system (look for DEF 14A). Continue Reading →

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PayPal Holdings Proxy Recommendations

PayPal Holdings (PYPL), operates as a technology platform company that enables digital and mobile payments on behalf of consumers and merchants worldwide. Its payment solutions include PayPal, PayPal Credit, Braintree, Venmo, Xoom, and Paydiant products.

Most shareholders do not vote because reading through 100+ pages of the proxy is not worth the time for the small difference your vote will make. Below, I tell you how I am voting and why. If you have read these posts related to my portfolio for the last 22 years, have values aligned with mine, and trust my judgment (or you don’t want to take the time to read it), go immediately to see how I voted my ballot. Voting will take you only a minute or two and every vote counts. The annual meeting is coming up on May 23, 2018. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 44% of the time. View Proxy Statement via SEC’s EDGAR system (look for DEF 14A). Continue Reading →

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Intel Proxy Voting Recommendations

Intel Corporation (INTC), designs, manufactures, and sells computer, networking, data storage, and communication platforms worldwide. Most shareholders do not vote because reading through 100+ pages of the proxy is not worth the time for the small difference your vote will make. Below, I tell you how I am voting and why. If you have read these posts related to my portfolio for the last 22 years, have values aligned with mine, and trust my judgment (or you don’t want to take the time to read it), go immediately to see how I voted my ballot. Voting will take you only a minute or two and every vote counts. The annual meeting is coming up on May 17, 2018. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 53% of the time. View Proxy Statement via SEC’s EDGAR system (look for DEF 14A). Continue Reading →

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Trump’s LL Bean Political Contributions

LL Bean LogoDo not make the same mistake as LL Bean. The last thing I want is to turn CorpGov.net into another social media outlet on Donald Trump. However, the advice offered today by Bruce Freed, president of the Center for Political Accountability (CPA), is something public company boards should be discussing as they try to stay on the good side of President-elect Donald Trump, without being ethically challenged.

While, the advice flowed out of the controversy over President-elect Donald Trump’s endorsement of LL Bean following a contribution to a political action committee supporting Mr. Trump from a Bean family member, it closely tracks advice CPA has been giving for years.  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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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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Lobbying Disclosure: Companies Respond

lobbyingShareholders have been urging companies to fully disclose the lobbying they do directly and through trade associations and third parties for six years now. This year 66 investors joined in filing resolutions with 50 companies seeking expanded lobbying transparency. Twinned with calls for disclosure of political spending aimed at affecting elections, this effort has had a steady positive effect. For example, this year companies including Raytheon, CenterPoint and DuPont came to agreements with investors to expand their lobbying disclosure.

We also find that many companies, even if they do not want to fully disclose, have expanded their reporting on items like Board oversight, priority issues they lobbied on, whether and when they did grassroots lobbying, making it easier to access their quarterly Senate reports or disclosing specific dollar amounts spent on federal lobbying. Continue Reading →

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NextEra Energy: Proxy Score 64

Nextera EnergyNextEra Energy Inc (NYSE:NEE), one of the stocks in my portfolio, generates, transmits, and distributes electric energy in the United States and Canada. Their annual meeting is coming up on 5/21/2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had the votes of two funds when I checked and voted on 5/14/2015. I voted with management 64% of the time and assigned NextEra Energy a proxy score of 64.

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

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Fluor Corporation (FLR): Proxy Score 64

Fluor CorporationFluor Corporation (FLR), which provides engineering, procurement, construction, fabrication and modularization, commissioning and maintenance, and project management services worldwide, is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 4/30/2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had the vote of one fund when I checked and voted on 4/23/2015. I voted with management 64% of the time and assigned Fluor Corporation a proxy score of 64.

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

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Video Friday: Where is the SEC on Dark Money?

Dark MoneyI think most Americans have a very limited attention span when it comes to investing, the SEC and especially corporate governance. When I came across SECDisclose.org earlier this week, I was delighted with a series of videos they have uploaded on dark money and with their byline: Because the S.E.C. shouldn’t stand for “S-E-C-RET.”

In a few paragraphs below lifted from SECDisclose and a press release from the Corporate Reform Coalition, I hope to perk your interest in this project so that you’ll share their links with your friends. I love their campaign. It is very creative. However, one thing the campaign fails to do, at least as far as I could tell in a quick look, is to call their viewers and readers to action. I’ve practically hounded my readers to death on this issue but will do so once again. Continue Reading →

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Investors Seek Disclosure of Corporate Lobbying Expenses

Citizens United and Pay 2 PlayResolutions Filed at 53 Companies

Disclosure of corporate lobbying expenses remain top shareholder proposal topics for 2015, as more than 60 investors have filed proposals with more than 50 companies asking for reports that include federal and state lobbying payments, political contributions and/or payments to trade associations used for lobbying and payments to any tax-exempt organization that writes and endorses model legislation.

In 2014, resolutions relating to corporate political and lobbying expenses of a company were among the most common shareholder proposal put forth during the proxy season for the fourth consecutive year, and it is expected that these will be among the most popular shareholder proposal topics for 2015 proxy season. The bulk of political spending resolutions fall under two categories, either requesting disclosure of lobbying expenditures or seeking disclosure of political contributions. Continue Reading →

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Cisco Systems – Proxy Vote Score 37

Cisco SystemsCisco Systems, Inc. (NASD:CSCO), which designs, manufactures, and sells Internet Protocol (IP) based networking products and services related to the communications and information technology industry worldwide, is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 11/20/2014. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of four funds when I checked on 11/18/2014. Sorry for the late post. Today is the last day to vote online. I voted with management 37% of the time and assigned them a proxy score of 37.  View Proxy Statement. Read Warnings below. What follows are my recommendations on how to vote the Cisco Systems 2014 proxy in order to enhance corporate governance and long-term value.

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Procter & Gamble Company (PG): Proxy Score 44

P&GProcter & Gamble Company (PG), which manufactures and sells branded consumer packaged goods, is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 10/14/2014. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of three funds when I checked on 9/20/2014.  I voted with management 44% of the time and assigned them a proxy score of 44.  View Proxy Statement. Read Warnings below. What follows are my recommendations on how to vote the Proctor & Gamble 2014 proxy in order to enhance corporate governance and long-term value. Continue Reading →

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Yahoo! (YHOO): Proxy Vote – Score 56

Yahoo!Yahoo! $YHOO, is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is June 25, 2014. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of one fund when I checked and voted on 6/13/2014. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 56% of the time. Thus I assigned Yahoo! a proxy score of 62. View Proxy Statement. Read Warnings below. What follows are my recommendations on how to vote the Yahoo! proxy in order to enhance Yahoo’s corporate governance and long-term value.   Continue Reading →

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How I Voted: Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) – Proxy Score – 76%

Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 4/25/2013. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of three funds when I checked on 4/22/2013.  I voted with management 76% of the time.  View Proxy Statement. Warning: Be sure to vote each item on the proxy. Any items left blank are voted in favor of management’s recommendations. (See Broken Windows & Proxy Vote Rigging – Both Invite More Serious Crime)

I generally vote against pay packages where NEOs were paid above median in the previous year but make exceptions if warranted. According to Bebchuk, Lucian A. and Grinstein, Yaniv (The Growth of Executive Pay), aggregate compensation by public companies to NEOs increased from 5 percent of earnings in 1993-1995 to about 10 percent in 2001-2003. Continue Reading →

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How Mutual Funds Voted on Political Disclosures

As we look back on the 2012 elections one thing is clear, money flowed like water with any barrier that might have contained it removed by Citizens United. Writing for the court in the 5-4 decision, Judge Kennedy opined:

With the advent of the Internet, prompt disclosure of expenditures can provide shareholders and citizens with the information needed to hold corporations and elected officials accountable for their positions and supporters. Shareholders can determine whether their corporation’s political speech advances the corporation’s interest in making profits, and citizens can see whether elected officials are ‘in the pocket’ of so-called moneyed interests. Continue Reading →

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A New Strategy to Fight Citizens United

Guest post from . Author, ‘The Myth of Choice’; law professor at Boston College. This article is adapted from a more substantial essay in the Fall 2012 issue of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and appeared previously on Huffington Post, 9/15/2012.

We progressives have been in quite a tizzy about Citizens United, especially now that 2012 election cycle is swamped with Super PAC money. Citizens United, you’ll remember, is the 2010 Supreme Court case saying that corporations have the same rights to engage in political speech as you and I do. In response, a number of progressives have proposed constitutional amendmentsto do away with corporate “personhood.” Continue Reading →
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