About The Free Enterprise Project

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. The Free Enterprise Project (FEP) is the conservative movement’s only full-service shareholder activism and education program: It files shareholder resolutions, engages corporate CEOs and board members at shareholder meetings, petitions the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for interpretative guidance, and sponsors effective media campaigns to create the incentives for corporations to stay focused on their missions.

As the leading voice for conservative-minded investors, FEP 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.

Topics Covered

Through the years, FEP has been a leading voice for the conservative investor on a divergent range of topics including: health care, immigration, gun rights, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, federalism, corporate free speech, ideological diversity, voter integrity, freedom of conscience, property rights, workers’ rights and other important public policy issues.

The Free Enterprise Project is also the nation’s leading program for confronting liberal shareholder activism.

Free Enterprise Project Leadership

Scott Shepard

Scott Shepard

Scott Shepard

Scott Shepard is a fellow at the National Center as well as the director of the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project, the conservative movement’s only full-service shareholder activism and education program.

Scott has taught at law schools including the Wake Forest School of Law in North Carolina and the Willamette University College of Law in Oregon. He is the author of the legal textbook Wills, Trusts and Estates in Context.

He previously served as a policy director with the Yankee Institute in Connecticut and the manager of the Water Law Project at the Pacific Legal Institute. He also has experience in government and private practice.

Scott earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia, a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Richmond.

FEP’s Top 10 Victories of 2021

FEP’s Top 10 Victories of 2020

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.

FEP's Employee Conscience Protection Project strengthened protections for the political beliefs and activities of over five million workers at 13 major U.S. corporations.

Just days after FEP's questioning of Disney CEO Bob Iger over biased commentary at Disney-owned ESPN generated significant media, including coverage by The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Reuters, USA Today, and Fox Business, ESPN issued new guidelines for political commentary by its on-air talent.

After Danhof questioned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about the company's anti-conservative bias in its news feeds, the company changed its policy by removing humans in place of a more neutral algorithm.

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes vowed to earn our trust after being chastised by FEP over CNN's proclivity for media bias and fake news. He promised to recommit to independence. Two weeks later, CNN fired three reporters involved in a false report about Anthony Scaramucci.

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CNBC's Jim Cramer, Investor's Business Daily, and Motley Fool all questioned the wisdom of continued investment in Apple after CEO Tim Cook announced at an annual meeting that he didn't care about ``bloody ROI (return on investment).`` His statement came in response to questioning by our FEP over the company's support for regulation.

FEP personnel have been repeatedly ushered into private meetings with CEOs of some of the largest corporations in the world, such as PepsiCo.

After FEP appealed directly to then-CEO Alan Mulally to withdraw Ford from the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a group that lobbies for stringent greenhouse gas regulations, Ford dropped its membership.

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After FEP filed a shareholder proposal with General Electric over the company's foray into alternative energy programs, the company agreed to amend its corporate policies to only engage in green energy initiatives if the executives could identify a legitimate business purpose.

Under pressure from FEP, Google dropped its ``Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal`` campaign and also eliminated its ``green czar`` position.

Broad Media Appeal

Since 2012, the Free Enterprise Project has generated more than 10,000 media citations.  FEP work has been cited or published by outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco, Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, USA Today, Variety, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Drudge Report, Business Insider, Investor’s Business Daily, Time, Fortune, the Rush Limbaugh Show, National Public Radio, SiriusXM, CBS News, the Fox News Channel, the Fox Business Channel, NewsMaxTV, One America News Network and hundreds more.

 

Media Quotes

Investor’s Business Daily (April 2017)

“The National Center for Public Policy Research’s Justin Danhof once noted: ‘Corporations that cave to the left only place a bigger target on their backs.’ … Danhof has it right.”

-John Merline of Investor’s Business Daily detailing FEP’s work

Los Angeles Times (2013)

“Robert Iger faced tough questioning about alleged liberal bias at Disney-owned ABC News and ESPN… Iger conceded… “making mistakes.”

– Daniel Miller on Justin Danhof’s questioning of Disney CEO Robert Iger

Motley Fool (2013)

“I… suggest that investors refrain from buying shares of Walgreens until… [he] can provide a solid answer.

– Motley Fool’s Gene Kropowski pressing Walgreens’ CEO Greg Wasson to answer Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof’s question on whether low prices or sustain- ability are the higher priority

San Francisco Chronicle (2016)

“[UC Davis professor Leticia] Saucedo thinks the Free Enterprise Project’s campaign is a good idea…”

-A labor law professor endorses our “Freedom of Conscience” shareholder proposal

Greenbiz.com

[The Free Enterprise Project] is turning the shareholder resolution process into a tool for shaming companies for taking on climate change. It’s a turnabout of the tactic long used by environmental activists…think of it as Greenpeace standing on its head.”

Washington Times

“Led by the National Center for Public Policy Research, [conservatives] are starting to imitate the liberals’ tactics by sponsoring initiatives at corporate board meetings… to act as a counterweight… [and] push conservative causes such as lower taxes and smaller government.”

Published Commentaries

Larry Fink BlackRock

The Trips to Davos Have Gone to Larry Fink’s Head

Larry Fink really has let all of those trips to Davos go to his head. In what is, so far as I know, the BlackRock CEO’s most recent act of public grandiloquence, he and BlackRock have urged the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) to modify its proposed greenhouse-gas emissions disclosure rule. That standard ...
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Morningstar Israel

Morningstar’s ESG: Proudly Leftist, Covertly Anti-Israel

Morningstar, the investor-research firm, claims to be “all in for investors,” and that because its founder “thought it was unfair that people didn’t have access to the same information as financial professionals,” the company was founded “to deliver investment research to everyone.” Well, fair enough, perhaps. Morningstar doesn’t promise to present complete ...
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Honest CEO

What Honest, Neutral ESG Would Look Like

Despite the transparent prevarications of the most powerful proponents of current ESG, those positions are entirely and deeply partisan. As has been noted on these pages before, Larry Fink followed up his assertions that ESG and stakeholder capitalism are neither “partisan” nor “woke” by establishing as his two biggest ESG goals “equity” ...
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corporate elites

Corporate Elites Don’t Recognize Shareholders As Owners

Every American has experienced miserable customer service from our corporate overlords, but that cold shoulder is a warm hug compared to how corporations cheat and deceive their own owners — the shareholders. As a conservative shareholder activist for the Free Enterprise Project (FEP), I experience that firsthand at shareholder meetings ...
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Dobbs digging

With Knee-Jerk Dobbs Responses, Woke CEOs Keep On Digging

Woke CEOs build traps for themselves, and then fall right into them, with such regularity that even the venerable Wile E. Coyote has begun to look away in embarrassment. The Dobbs decision has provided the most recent needless-risk creation opportunity. Despite New York Times assertions to the contrary, the Dobbs decision did not ban or restrict access ...
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Scott Shepard

Scott Shepard,
Free Enterprise Project Director

Free Enterprise Project July 2022 Newsletter

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AMERICAN AIRLINES ‘ABSOLUTELY’ CONSIDERS SKIN COLOR AND SEX WHEN HIRING PILOTS

Illegal discrimination is evil in all situations, and equity-based discrimination is still just discrimination. In picking pilots, it’s straight up insane.

In its eagerness to stay woke despite ever-growing evidence that woke leads to failure, American Airlines is endangering lives and trashing its reputation. READ MORE

SUPREME COURT DECISION ON SCHOOL CHOICE WILL FOSTER DIVERSITY WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION

When the Supreme Court justices ruled in favor of school choice, they likely didn’t consider the implications of how their decision would play out someday in Corporate America.
But FEP Director Scott Shepard notes that this decision will likely have positive ramifications for both surface diversity and viewpoint diversity in the workforce in the years to come. READ MORE

LARRY FINK CONTRADICTS HIMSELF AT BLACKROCK SHAREHOLDER MEETING

“Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, appears to know that his attempt to run the American economy, and to inflict his personal preferences on society from company headquarters, are at very least too obvious. And so he has been retreating from his grandest claims, at least rhetorically.”
– FEP Director Scott Shepard READ MORE

DON’T SELL YOUR SHARES OF WOKE CORPORATIONS! TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEM TO SPEAK UP AND “COUNTERMARCH”

FEP’s Ethan Peck spoke with Jeff Crouere during an episode of “Ringside Politics” to discuss what shareholders can do to loosen the grip of the left in Corporate America. WATCH

CORPORATE RESPONSE TO DOBBS WILL BACKFIRE ON WOKE CEOS

By subsidizing their employees’ abortion travel, corporations have thrown off the illusion of political neutrality and instead adopted the policies of the most ardently pro-abortion states. READ MORE

CORPORATE MEDIA IS IN HIGH SUPPLY AND LOW DEMAND

Lefty “journalists” and Obama-era leftovers think it’s a “danger to democracy” that more people want to hear facts from Ben Shapiro than endless errors and falsehoods from them. They think the solution is for Facebook, et al., to censor true content more heavily.
But the laws of economics win out: censoring Ben Shapiro will no more boost Joe Scarborough than burning down a hair salon will raise bread prices. READ MORE

FEP IN THE NEWS

SCOTT SHEPARD COMMENTARIES

FEP TOOLS FOR TAKING ACTION

Donating to FEP will provide success in our focus on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. DONATE
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Latest News From The Free Enterprise Project

FEP in the Media

FEP at Shareholder Meetings

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.