Latest News From The Free Enterprise Project

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

Working Together to Save Corporate America From Itself

Working Together to Save Corporate America From Itself

President Calvin Coolidge said, “The chief business of the American people is business. They are profoundly concerned with producing, buying, selling, investing and prospering in the world.” We were in 1925 and are a near-century later. Corporate CEOs, though, have increasingly been distracted from producing, buying, selling, investing and prospering. Too ...
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Unionization In the Time of Automation

Unionization In the Time of Automation

Unions have recently won organizational votes at New York City-area branches of Starbucks and Amazon, companies they have been trying to crack into for years. There is good reason to think that workers enticed into voting for unions in the 2020s will come to regret their decision. Modern unions are generally bad ...
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JPMorgan

Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan, and the Authoritarian Impulse

It appears that Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, really enjoys telling other people what to do, whether they’ve chosen to interact with him or not. A few days back billionaire Peter Thiel laid into Dimon (along with Larry Fink and Warren Buffett) as “gerontocrats” for rejecting Bitcoin and for ...
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Disney, Florida, and the Folly of Special Business Exemptions

Disney, Florida, and the Folly of Special Business Exemptions

1And then in the year of dread Wokeness the third, it came to pass in the Land of Dis, where Walt he begat him his line, 2but upon which in later days lay the rule of dark descendants not fit to command, 3there broke forth a haughty demand that the kingdoms beyond ...
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Stakeholder Capitalism: Neither Capitalism Nor For Stakeholders

Stakeholder Capitalism: Neither Capitalism Nor For Stakeholders

Long ago Voltaire noted that the Holy Roman Empire, decaying into ruin in the middle of Europe, was neither Holy nor Roman, nor an Empire. Most of my generation ran across the line, if they did, in a Cawfee Tawk skit on Saturday Night Live in one of those rare (and now extinct) epochs ...
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Scott Shepard

Scott Shepard,
Free Enterprise Project Director

Free Enterprise Project May 2022 Newsletter

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Announcing the release of the 2022 Investor Value Voter Guide!

Looking for an easy and effective way to push back against woke corporations? Vote your proxies for any investments you own. FEP has provided this guide to advise you which fights are worth fighting this year. DOWNLOAD AS A PDF

Do you want to join the fight to oppose wokeness in Corporate America?
FEP tells you how you can help, whether or not you own stock. LEARN MORE

NEW YORK TIMES CHAIRMAN’S VIEWPOINT RESPONSE ‘JUST AS FRAUDULENT AS THE PAPER ITSELF’

“The New York Times Company sees itself as the ministry of truth and makes an intentional effort to hide behind a veil of neutrality and objectivity,” says FEP’s Ethan Peck.
“All we asked of the board was to be transparent about its obvious biases with the shareholders paying their checks. Evidently, that was too much to ask of them.” READ MORE

INVESTORS DENOUNCE LEVI STRAUSS CEO CHIP BERGH FOR ‘PARTISAN TOXICITY’

At the Levi Strauss & Co shareholder meeting, FEP blasted Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh for his unflinchingly leftist policies — discriminatory hiring practices, firing an executive for opinions he didn’t like, opposing election integrity efforts and more. READ MORE

BANK OF AMERICA, CITIGROUP SLAMMED FOR DISCRIMINATORY POLICIES

Both Bank of America and Citigroup, Inc have been discriminating against employees who don’t meet their definition of “diverse.”
We called out both companies as we presented proposals at their annual shareholder meetings. READ MORE

GOLDMAN SACHS, PFIZER AND JOHNSON & JOHNSON HELD ACCOUNTABLE BY SHAREHOLDER ACTIVISTS

We presented proposals at the Goldman Sachs, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson annual shareholder meetings, holding them accountable on left-wing spending and discriminatory “equity” policies. READ MORE

U.S. BANCORP SUPPORTS GROUP THAT WANTS TEACHERS TO DISCUSS SEX WITH KINDERGARTENERS

When we confronted him, U.S. Bank CEO Andy Cecere doubled down on the company’s sponsorship of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a group which has vocally opposed a Florida anti-grooming law that protects young students from inappropriate sexual discussions within the classroom. READ MORE

DISNEY, FLORIDA, AND THE FOLLY OF SPECIAL BUSINESS EXEMPTIONS

Before Florida Gov. DeSantis cut off Disney’s special business exemptions, FEP Director Scott Shepard explained why such privileges are a bad idea in the first place. READ MORE

MORE FROM THE FREE ENTERPRISE PROJECT

COMMENTARIES BY FEP DIRECTOR
SCOTT SHEPARD

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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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.