Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Companies Don't Want to Tell Shareholders About the Political Giving
Shareholders in about two dozen companies, including Citigroup, Time Warner, and American International Group (AIG) are trying to excercise some corporate democracy. They'd like to introduce a shareholder resolution that would require the CEOs of these companies to disclose how much money they are raising for politicians. Many of these CEOs have raised at least $200,000 for President Bush through his "Ranger" program.

The companies are trying to keep their own shareholders from even getting to vote on these issues. That seems a bit brazen, given that the shareholders own the company, and the management ostensibly works for them. It's also a little hard to imagine why the CEOs fear this disclosure. The Bush campaign is already voluntarily disclosing who their "Rangers" are. It seems reasonable that shareholders would want to know what other politicians besides Bush that their corporate managers are backing.

Details can be found here at Bloomberg.

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