Harvard Law School’s Forum on Corporate Governance has this post, based on information from Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc., on shareholder resolutions regarding corporate political spending during the 2022 proxy season:
More shareholder resolutions were filed in the 2022 proxy season than in the previous year, with 586 environmental and social proposals submitted at U.S. companies so far, compared with 561 in 2021. Though many have since been withdrawn, many have been or will be voted on. According to data from ISS Corporate Solutions, 569 shareholder resolutions on ESG issues have either been voted on or are pending in annual meetings through November this year….
There were a number of different kinds of resolutions focused on political spending, all trying to get at slightly differing types of information:
– Report on Political Contributions
– Report on Congruency of Political Spending with Company Values and Priorities
– Report on Global Public Policy and Political Influence
– Report on Political Contributions and Expenditures
– Issue Transparency Report on Global Public Policy and Political Influence
Some 19 proposals were filed on political spending in this year’s proxy season, with 16 already coming to a vote. Two of those, (Dollar General Corporation and Twitter, Inc.) received majority support. Overall average support was 34.1%. While the highest level of support was over 50%, the lowest was 4.2% at DISH Network Corporation, a company that is majority owned by insiders.
The door revolves. From Politico:
The California Democrat, who spent a decade in the House and 24 years in the Senate, doesn’t plan to register as a lobbyist. Instead, she’ll advise clients of Mercury Public Affairs, which represents corporate clients such as Airbnb and AT&T, as well as foreign governments, including those of Qatar and Turkey.
A piece in the Atlantic on the governance options available to billionaires:
When people think about the political relevance of Michael Bloomberg’s money, they tend to think about how his massive spending helps his campaigns: the record $261 million he spent on his three successful mayoral runs, the billions he could end up spending on his quest for the presidency. What people often miss is that Bloomberg actually spent more of his own money boosting his policy efforts in city hall than he did to get there.
Part of Bloomberg’s presidential sales pitch is that his personal wealth—he’s worth an estimated $56 billion—makes him incorruptible. Not only is he unbribeable; being rich enough to never take political contributions, he can assume office unbeholden to donors. But Bloomberg is so rich that he shifts the direction of potential influence: Donors may not be able to buy influence, but he can use his wealth to push things in the directions he wants.
Speaking of mobilization, the Washington Times has questions:
The National Rifle Association, after shedding its president and top lobbyist this year amid a string of internal disputes and legal battles, finds itself at a crossroads with Republican politicos wondering whether the group is still high powered or a campaign dud.
The cloud of doubts about the NRA is stunning just four years after the gun rights group helped Donald Trump win the presidential election.
The NRA says it plans to play a pivotal role, as always, in elections this year, especially because gun rights advocates are rallying against gun control platforms of the Democratic presidential contenders.
It’s an open question, however, whether Mr. Trump and like-minded political candidates can expect the same level of financial and organizational support as they did in 2016.