April 29, 2011- It's no secret that corporate political contributions are highly controversial, but a lot of that controversy comes from these donations' very secrecy. As corporations try to keep their political donations under wraps, they face a surge of shareholders demanding to know just where that money's going.
After all, if you've invested in a publicly traded company, wouldn't you want to know whether it's supporting politicians, causes, or agendas with which you disagree?
Politics and proposals
ProxyMonitor.org, which tracks shareholder resolutions and vote tallies at Fortune 100 companies, has been keeping score of donation disclosure and other hot-button issues. The group reports that political spending now enjoys a groundswell in interest among shareholder proposals.
From 2008 through 2010, only 19% of shareholder proposals dealt with political spending. So far in 2011, interest in that topic has nearly doubled, now comprising 35% of social policy resolutions.