Taking A Stand

I mostly stay away from political topics, but not today. I believe that one of the things that is wrong with our political system is the amount of corporate money in political campaigns and how easy it is for corporations to obfuscate (I needed a reason to use that word) how much money is thrown at political campaigns.

We often think there isn’t much we can do about it, and perhaps there isn’t. Unless you happen to own those corporations and many of us do. I happen to own quite a few corporations. Granted I only own a few hundred shares of stock at the most in any one corporation, but I am an owner.

We are now in prime annual corporate meeting season. I receive emails at least once a week informing me that I can access proxy materials and vote my shares. I’ve noticed that many of the proxy notices I am receiving have shareholder proposals requesting disclosure of political campaign donations which the board always recommends we vote against. However, being the contrarian I sometimes can be, I have been voting for this proposal.

If you are also an owner, but rarely take the time to vote your shares thinking your 100 shares may not make a difference, please take the few moments it takes to make your voice heard. Hundreds or thousands of owners, each voting their 100 shares, can make a difference.

If corporations know they will be accountable to their owners in how the corporate funds are spent, perhaps less money will flow to political campaigns. It is a small step in the right direction, but one that everyone who owns a few shares of stock can take. Spread the word and make those votes count!

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22 thoughts on “Taking A Stand

  1. Great topic. I think funneling corporate money into these campaigns is abhorrent. Imagine what that money could go toward instead… It’s an outrage.

    • It really is. And the truly abhorrent reality is the corporations throw money at both candidates to hedge their bets and in the hopes of gaining special favors in return for their largesse. In the 2008 campaign, Citigroup was one the largest donors to both the Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns.

  2. Great idea, Sandy. Every little thing we can do helps. And while corporate donors like Citicorp DO hedge their bets, they always hedge them MORE in the directions of the Republicans.

    • It boggles my mind just how much money is spent on political advertising, and much like A Gripping Life, I can’t help but think that money could be put to much better use to build shelters for the homeless, feed the hungry, vaccinate a third world country against polio, the list goes on…..

  3. Great message, great point Sandy. Something everyone should do regardless of where they are on the political spectrum.
    And as far as just one person affecting the system, no single drop of rain thinks it’s responsible for the flood…

  4. Although I have no experience in anything having to do with investments (my money is in my mattress) I couldn’t agree more. It’s your right to know how your money is being spent and it’s your right to approve it.

  5. I’m behind you sister! Although, the views and actions of a poverty-stricken Canadian couch-potato probably don’t pull much weight.

  6. Yep – and to think the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution with the idea of business too. Who would have thunk it!

  7. When voting shares, I typically vote for the appointment of the CPAs as auditors, but other than that, I vote against stock incentive plans, CEO compensation or anything else management proposes. In most cases, not all, the proposals are good for management and bad for the owners or stock holders……I usually will vote for shareholder proposals although some of these can be a little out there and can be harmful to the running of the company……

    • I’ve been voting against executive pay plans and stock incentive plans for years. It’s only recently that I’ve noticed the proposals about disclosing political contributions, probably because we are in an election year and everyone is getting sick of the ads.

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