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 Foundation. 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

With Davos 2023 Wrapped, How To Cease Being a Comic Book Villain

FEP Commentary /
I was told recently by someone in a position to know that Larry Fink has been hurt by my having referred to him in these pages as a comic-book villain. My first reaction, this insight arising in a discussion with investment-house types, was for the bottom line: If, as seems ...
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JPMorgan

Is Jamie Dimon Aware of the Partisan Double Standard Inside His Bank?

FEP Commentary /
Vis Raghavan, co-head of global investment banking at JPMorgan Chase, reported recently that most of the company’s employees had returned to working in the office. Maybe it’s time for CEO Jamie Dimon to spend a little more time there as well, as it appears that he doesn’t know what’s going on at ...
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BlackRock

BlackRock Accidentally Admits Role In Reversal of Economic Good Times

FEP Commentary /
In its 2023 Global Outlook, BlackRock rued the close of what it called the Great Moderation, the 40-odd years since the policies of Reagan and Thatcher brought forth from the malaise of inflation and stagnation a great flourishing of human creativity and productivity, and the concomitant upward rise in just about ...
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BlackRock

Red States Have Begun Pulling Money from BlackRock. Now What?

FEP Commentary /
This commentary by Free Enterprise Project Director Scott Shepard was originally published at RealClearMarkets. An ever-growing series of red states have pulled some or all of their assets from BlackRock’s management in light of that company’s oft-repeated commitment to ignore its fiduciary duties and to use the power of all ...
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Disney shareholders

Cosmetic Changes at Disney and Vanguard Don’t Necessarily Signal ESG Retreat

FEP Commentary /
The fight against ESG will be long and hard – and anyway is just the opening campaign in a much, much longer fight against the leftists’ takeover the of the social, cultural, educational and governmental power centers of western life. The proponents of ESG have placed allies in high places throughout corporate ...
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Scott Shepard

Scott Shepard,
Free Enterprise Project Director

The Political Forum Institute

Publications

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.