In the aftermath of January 6, a number of companies, highly sensitized to any dissonance or conflict between their public statements or announced core values and their political contributions, determined to pause or discontinue some or all of their political donations. Notwithstanding those actions—or perhaps to some extent because of them—the clamor for disclosure regarding corporate political spending has continued. To that end, in March, Senators Chris Van Hollen and Robert Menendez reintroduced the Shareholder Protection Act of 2021, a bill to mandate not only political spending disclosure, but also shareholder votes to authorize corporate political spending. (See this PubCo post.) The chances that this bill will pass in this Senate? Not great. Nevertheless, even in the absence of legislation, investor pressure and public sentiment may well be having some effect. As shown in the new 2021 CPA-Zicklin Index of Corporate Political Disclosure and Accountability (from the Center for Political Accountability and the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania), the number of companies increasing transparency and enhancing board oversight of corporate political spending, whether on their own initiative or prodded by shareholder proposals, is on a gradual but determined rise.
CPA-Zicklin Index for 2016 shows companies increase disclosure, oversight and restrictions regarding corporate political spending
by Cydney Posner In light of our proximity to election day — finally — it seemed like a good time to take a look at the CPA-Zicklin Index of Political Disclosure and Accountability, just released for 2016, which annually evaluates corporate practices and disclosure regarding political spending. In a record-breaking year […]