November 29, 2010
Shareowners Launch Campaign Against Corporate Political Spending
by Robert Kropp
Investors call for board oversight and disclosure of all political spending by corporations.
It is tempting to describe the first national election in the US since the Supreme Court's Citizens
United decision opened the floodgates for corporate political spending as a defeat for the concerns
of sustainable investors. The US Chamber of Commerce poured $75 million into this month's midterm
elections, largely in support of Republican candidates who have vowed to repeal health care
legislation and who are, for the most part, in denial about the reality of climate change.
Yet when have sustainable investors not faced an uphill battle in having their concerns
addressed by legislators in the US? Their success in the face of such challenges can be observed in
the increasing percentages of shareowner support for resolutions addressing environmental, social,
and corporate governance (ESG) issues. This month, shareowner activists set their sites on the 2011
proxy season, submitting proposals addressing corporate political spending at four large