14 May 2020 Sick of Wall Street Liberals? Blame the Left’s “Methodical, Vigilant Shareholder Pressure Campaigns”
CEOs can serve longer than American presidents. Corporate middle managers may last even longer in departments such as human resources, communications and the general counsel’s office. With this in mind, it’s no wonder the left has set its sights on co-opting the business community to serve its political agenda.
In a new commentary published by The Hill newspaper in Washington, D.C., Justin Danhof, Esq. – the director of the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP) – suggests that elections held at corporate shareholder meetings every year “arguably have had a more profound impact on American society” than even presidential elections.
American businesses play a major role in shaping not just politics bur our collective ethos. And they are doing so with a decidedly left-leaning skew. Just as we realize the importance of political votes, conservatives need to wake up to the fact that liberals are dominating corporate votes. The result is seen every day as corporate America marches further to the left and takes actions that offend conservative and traditional values.
Some examples of corporate America acting as the left’s political muscle:
- Coca-Cola, Apple, Home Depot and other companies pressured Georgia lawmakers and eventually got a religious freedom bill vetoed by the governor.
- Levi’s, Bank of America, United and others are taking stances against the NRA and the Second Amendment.
- Amazon, Paypal and Google are among companies allowing the discredited and reputation-smearing Southern Poverty Law Center to determine who can use their online platforms.
- Nike pulled its Betsy Ross flag-themed shoes over complains from company pitchman and failed athlete Colin Kaepernick.
“These actions do not occur in a vacuum,” Justin points out. “Many of these misdeeds are the result of the left’s methodical, vigilant shareholder pressure campaigns.”
The problem is that the left has already seen – and seized – the opportunity of influencing corporate leaders:
The left dominates the shareholder proposal space, annually filing 95 percent of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) proposals. With 400 to 500 ESG proposals, that’s a lot of opportunities to influence corporate behavior. Compounding this is the fact that the organizations that advise investors on how to vote for these ballot initiatives have become fully “woke.”
Until about five years ago, ESG proposals generally received low single-digit support. But in recent years, the two primary proxy advisors [Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis] have shifted dramatically to the left. As a result, liberal ESG proposals now receive record support. Earlier this year, Morningstar reported that 2019 “ESG-related shareholder resolutions were supported, on average, by 29% of investor shares voted. The previous record high was 25% in 2018.”
Is there hope for conservatives to have a voice among the left’s uproar? Are investors going to be relegated to the back of the corporate bus – with the fiduciary responsibility owed to them sidelined by the loud demands of politicized “stakeholders”?
FEP is leading the way to bring corporate American “back to neutral” when it comes to politics in business decision-making. One of the new ways for shareholders to be advised – and corporate leaders to be on notice – is FEP’s Investor Value Voter Guide.
In the Hill commentary, Justin explains:
[The Investor Value Voter Guide] is a comprehensive educational tool that shows how left-wing ESG proposals not only fail to deliver on promises of increased investor return, they actually destroy shareholder value. We demonstrate in painstaking detail that proxy advisors ISS and Glass Lewis are doing a wild disservice and unimaginable financial harm to their clients. But more importantly than all of that, we provide a better way.
To read all of Justin’s commentary – “Conservatives, Take Back the Franchise with Proxy Voting” – on the website of The Hill, click here.