26 Apr 2021 Voting Guide Released for Conservative Investors
Washington, D.C. – The 2021 Investor Value Voter Guide (IVVG) was released today by the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP), which urges conservative and religious investors not to throw away their ability to influence corporate America through proxy votes.
“What happens at annual shareholder meetings is the equivalent of a red state turning blue because conservative investors couldn’t be bothered to show up and vote,” said FEP Director Justin Danhof, Esq. “Conservatives have been ignoring corporate proxy ballot votes for decades, and it’s to our own peril. Politics is downstream from culture, and the liberal shareholders have been dominating the corporate proxy vote to advance policies they otherwise could not achieve through the legislative or political process.”
This year’s IVVG warns conservative shareholders about the left’s emboldened agenda for corporate America, and pulls back the curtain on proposals backed by the leftist As You Sow (AYS) network.
“This is far and away the most important year yet for shareholder engagement. A huge number of the most powerful corporations have signed up for the woke/critical theory agenda,” said FEP Deputy Director Scott Shepard. “Whether it’s ‘stakeholder capitalism,’ the ‘ESG’ drive or other initiatives, the story is always the same. Corporations signal their virtue about supposedly doing good for everyone. What ends up happening, though, is that the companies adopt racist and sexist quotas, audits and other discriminatory programs. They adopt zero-carbon goals that purport to save the environment, but are so incoherent that they reveal their true purpose: to fulfill the policy preferences of senior management without any concern for the disastrous consequences for the rest of us.”
“From affirmative action policies for boards of directors to fantastical and unachievable climate-based commitments and everything in between, liberal investor groups have been the agent of change in completely bending corporate America to their will. FEP’s Investor Value Voter Guide is the antidote to stop the woke train in its tracks,” added Danhof. “If you want to know how corporations got so unimaginably woke on nearly every single policy issue, look no further than shareholder proposals. The left not only dominates the space by filing more than 95 percent of all policy-based proposals, but its adherents also vote their corporate proxy ballots at dramatically higher numbers than conservatives.”
The 2021 IVVG also recommends voting for a handful of proposals that FEP believes will improve the corporate environment. These include FEP proposals encouraging viewpoint diversity on corporate boards, requesting reports on the risks of “stakeholder capitalism,” and seeking accountability regarding how corporations redirect shareholder profits toward controversial causes. The IVVG also recommends a proposal by National Center Fellow Steven Milloy that would analyze corporate carbon emissions from a global perspective.
Additionally, the guide examines trends that FEP has seen in shareholder advocacy and throughout corporate America.
“We explain how the lockdowns, the ‘woke’ movement and the Biden administration have collectively stacked the deck higher than ever against neutral business and sensible center/right concerns in favor of weaponizing the corporate world for the left,” said Shepard. “We also suggest many ways in which shareholders, other stakeholders and the general public can get engaged and work with us to save the American economy and civic society from the ravening left.”
“FEP is leading the charge in conservative shareholder activism, and the IVVG was created to be the guiding compass for conservatives looking to have their voices heard through this year’s proxy votes,” said FEP Associate Davis Soderberg. “It’s more important than ever that conservatives start to engage in fighting corporate America’s leftward march. If not, we may head down an irreversible path that will be detrimental for both shareholder value and American life in general. Let’s stop the woke nonsense while we still can.”
The 2021 Investor Value Voter Guide can be downloaded here.
To receive weekly emails throughout shareholder season with company-by-company guidance on how to vote your proxies, subscribe here. Today’s email, with recommendations on voting your proxies before the Cigna, Citigroup, Exelon and Wells Fargo shareholder meetings this week, can be found here.
To schedule an interview with a member of the Free Enterprise Project on this or other issues, contact Judy Kent at (703) 477-7476.
Launched in 2007, the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project focuses on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. Over the past four years alone, FEP representatives have participated in over 100 shareholder meetings – advancing free-market ideals about health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and other important public policy issues. As the leading voice for conservative-minded investors, it annually files more than 90 percent of all right-of-center shareholder resolutions. Dozens of liberal organizations, however, annually file more than 95 percent of all policy-oriented shareholder resolutions and continue to exert undue influence over corporate America.
FEP activity has been covered by media outlets including 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 is prominently featured in Stephen Soukup’s new book The Dictatorship of Woke Capital: How Political Correctness Captured Big Business (Encounter Books) and 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.
Sign up for email updates here. Follow us on Twitter at @FreeEntProject and @NationalCenter for general announcements. To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.