25 Sep 2017 Free Speech Victory: National Center for Public Policy Research Soundly Defeats Fake Transparency Proposal at FedEx Shareholder Meeting
For Release: September 25, 2017
Contact: Judy Kent at (703) 759-7476 or cell (703) 477-7476 or [email protected] and David W. Almasi at (703) 568-4727 or [email protected]
Free Enterprise Project Stymies Teamsters’ Effort to Pressure FedEx to Defund Pro-Business, Free Enterprise Groups
Memphis, TN / Washington, D.C. – At today’s annual meeting of FedEx Corporation investors, the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP) helped defeat a liberal, anti-free speech shareholder resolution put forward by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Investor Voice as part of leftist efforts to defund free-market organizations.
“Today is a good day for free speech and freedom of association,” said National Center General Counsel and FEP Director Justin Danhof, Esq., who represented the organization at today’s FedEx shareholder meeting. “Organizations such as the Teamsters and Investor Voice present themselves as innocent advocates seeking greater corporate transparency. Today, however, we pierced that veil and made sure FedEx investors knew these groups are part of a multi-billion-dollar liberal effort to defund pro-business, conservative organizations. After we told the investors the truth, they soundly rejected the proposal.”
At the meeting, Danhof stated:
Today, the Teamsters and Investor Voice are attempting to conscript FedEx’s shareholders into their efforts to defund and silence the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) — groups that seek to improve America’s business environment.
The proponents claim that FedEx’s relationships with ALEC and the Chamber of Commerce expose the company to reputational risk. Considering that the proponents and their allies regularly smear the pro-business positions promoted by ALEC and the Chamber, this is a circular argument with no basis in fact. The Chamber and ALEC seek to promote a fair economic environment devoid of excessive government regulation and onerous corporate taxation. Such an environment would help, not harm, FedEx.
Proposal seven holds no relevance for the company or its investors. The proponents are simply trying to use us to censor those that they cannot otherwise censor because our Constitution protects free speech. Don’t let this liberal network silence free speech by dictating FedEx’s business relationships. Please vote no on proposal number seven.
A copy of Danhof’s full statement at today’s meeting, as prepared for delivery, is available here. The audio of Danhof’s statement at today’s meeting is available here.
Prior to today’s meeting, the National Center issued a press release exposing the Teamsters’ proposal and calling on FedEx investors to vote it down.
“We may have scored a victory today, but much more needs to be done to protect free enterprise advocates from leftist assaults,” noted Danhof. “Liberal organizations, representing hundreds of billions in assets, annually spend untold sums to try and convince corporate America to disassociate from pro-business groups. And the left very often succeeds at co-opting corporate America into its fold. Conservative groups need to realize that an attack on one group, such as ALEC or the Chamber of Commerce, is an attack on all groups that support free-market capitalism.”
Launched in 2007, the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project focuses on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. Since 2014, its representatives have participated in over 100 shareholder meetings to advance free-market ideals in health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and other important public policy issues. FEP’s Employee Conscience Protection Project strengthened protections of the political beliefs and activities of over five million workers at 13 major U.S. corporations. FEP’s questioning of Boeing’s and General Electric’s support for the Clinton Foundation helped trigger an FBI investigation into the Foundation’s activities. Executives put on the spot by FEP at ABC News (Disney), the Washington Post and CNN (Time Warner) meetings acknowledged media bias. Â FEP has now participated in 21 shareholder meetings in 2017.
FEP activity this year has been covered by media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Variety, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Drudge Report, Business Insider, National Public Radio and SiriusXM. FEP’s work was also featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassel’s 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech (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 60,000 active recent contributors. Tax-deductible donations to support the National Center’s programs are greatly appreciated and can be made here. Sign up for email updates here. Follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter for general announcements. To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.