10 Jan 2016 Procter & Gamble Shareholders Urged to Reject Highly-Politicized Shareholder Proposal
National Center for Public Policy Research Calls on Procter & Gamble Investors to Reject Northstar Asset Management Resolution Designed to Enlist the Company into Efforts to Take Down State-Level Religious Protection, Freedom of Conscience and Public Accommodation Laws
Activist Proposal Seeks to Have Procter & Gamble Join with Companies Such as Apple and Google in Advancing Liberal Political Agenda
“Northstar’s Proposal is Bad for Business, Bad for Investors and a Threat to Religious Liberty, Common Sense and Freedom of Conscience”
Cincinnati, OH / Washington, D.C. – In advance of tomorrow’s annual meeting of Procter & Gamble shareholders in Cincinnati, Ohio, the National Center for Public Policy Research is urging all of the company’s investors to reject Northstar Asset Management’s shareholder proposal that is designed to convince Procter & Gamble to join its crusade against religious freedom, public accommodation and freedom of conscience laws.
“Northstar’s proposal is bad for business, bad for investors and a threat to religious liberty, common sense and freedom of conscience,” said Danhof. “Northstar is a left-wing political agent that is working to undermine certain conservative state laws. Joining one side or the other of hot-button political issues would not benefit Procter & Gamble’s investors in any way. We are calling for all investors to vote against Northstar’s proposal and send its political agenda packing.”
Northstar’s proposal calls for Procter & Gamble to become politically involved in certain political battles over state laws in locations such as Mississippi, Tennessee and North Carolina.
Northstar’s proposal takes issue with a religious protection law in Mississippi. While that law is currently on hold pending appeal, Northstar claims that it “legalizes discrimination” but Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has said “the law simply provides religious accommodations granted by many other states and federal law.”
Northstar also inaccurately characterizes a Tennessee freedom of conscience law as anti-LGBT as a way to score political points. That law merely allows for a counselor to refer a patient to another professional if he believes treating that patient would conflict with his sincerely-held beliefs. Pro-LGBT counselors can hold sincerely-held beliefs just as well as an ardent Christian or Muslim counselor can.
Finally, Northstar’s proposal targets North Carolina’s much-debated public accommodation law which states that public restrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities, including some in educational settings, should be used by individuals based on their biological sex.
Northstar implies that Procter & Gamble should engage in public policy campaigns about such laws and consider relocating operations from regions with these types of laws.
“Procter & Gamble has little, if anything, to gain by becoming a political pawn of Northstar Asset Management. While liberals may support Northstar’s policy positions, many religious and conservative folks would feel differently. Either way, choosing sides in heated political contests does nothing to improving Procter & Gamble’s business, operations or duties to its shareholders,” said Danhof.
Procter & Gamble’s board of directors also recommends that the company’s investors reject the proposal. Northstar’s complete proposal, and Procter & Gamble’s response to it, are available on pages 63 and 64 of the company’s proxy statement, which is available here.
The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market activist group focusing on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. In 2014-15, National Center representatives participated in 69 shareholder meetings advancing free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and many other important public policy issues. Tomorrow’s Procter & Gamble meeting marks its 21st shareholder meeting of 2016.
Just this year, the Free Enterprise Project has been featured in the Washington Post, the Washington Times, Fox News’s “Cavuto,” the Drudge Report, the Financial Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Newsmax, Daily Caller, Lifezette, the Seattle Times, the Quad City Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Chicago Tribune among many others.
The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is also prominently featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassel’s new book, The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech, published by the Hachette Book Group.
The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for free issue alerts here or follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter.