Conservative Groups - Corporate Political and Charitable Activity
NCPPR supports unfettered corporate spending in the political arena but lifts some language from the resolutions of proponents who are instead looking for spending disclosure. It also is critical of companies that support environmental regulation and incorporates these values in its resolutions. This year, NCPPR is lauding the lobbying efforts of Duke Energy and General Electric and asks for a report, using the same resolved clause of disclosure advocates concerned about what they see as undue influence in the political system. (Covered in this report under Political Activity, p. x.) Both companies had also received standard political activity proposals on lobbying or elections and argued at the SEC that they need not include them because they were duplicative, following the SEC’s shareholder proposal rule. Mercy Investments withdrew at Duke but is in discussions with the company. The NCPPR resolution praises both companies for supporting the American Legislative Exchange Council and the Business Roundtable and says they should continue to “advance economic liberty” and “free speech rights.” The NCPPR resolutions will appear in the proxy statements.
Long-time occasional proponent and anti-abortion activist Tom Strobhar this year asked Starbucks to report on its charitable giving program, but the company successfully challenged it at the SEC, which agreed it concerns ordinary business given a focus on gay rights and abortion that made it too specific.