Why companies must be transparent on political spending

In a recent column for GreenBiz.com, NI’s Michael Kramer covered several related initiatives aimed at reducing the role of corporate money in American politics.  Despite polls affirming that over 80% of citizens believe corporate political spending drowns out the voices of average citizens, the Supreme Court seems to be making matters worse, while Congress and the SEC balk at taking action.  Michael’s article delves into efforts to take the issue directly to corporate boards, via shareholder activism and direct engagement with management.

Read the whole thing at the GreenBiz site; here’s a key takeaway:

The Center for Corporate Political Accountability has compiled a CPA-Zicklin Index to highlight the leaders and general voluntary progress made towards voluntary disclosure among the largest 200 American companies. Companies such as Baxter, Capital One, Merck, PG&E and UPS disclose all types of political contributions and are generally lauded for their leadership in this arena. Other companies that either won’t reveal their policy or are unwilling to disclose contributions include Accenture, Amazon, Apache, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway, Carnival, Comcast, Costco, Ford, IBM, Morgan Stanley, Praxair, Priceline, Goldman Sachs, Time Warner Cable, Tyco, Walgreens, Walmart, Waste Management and Yahoo.


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