Latest News From The Free Enterprise Project

Shareholder Activists Sue California Over Radical Board of Director Rules

Shareholder Activists Sue California Over Radical Board of Director Rules

Press Release /
Sacramento, California - Challenging a California law requiring companies to adhere to minimum quotas of board members based on race or sexual orientation, shareholder activists ...
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Perhaps A ‘70s Redux Is Our Best Hope

Perhaps A ‘70s Redux Is Our Best Hope

Things really are starting to look grim. Not too long ago, we had worried that the “Biden” Administration would be a Carter reprise. Now we ...
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Mainstream Media Amplifies Fink’s ESG Failure

Mainstream Media Amplifies Fink’s ESG Failure

ConservativeBlog.org /
Larry Fink, the woke CEO of BlackRock, is using his influence in the business world as well as his company’s massive asset portfolio to push ...
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Corporate Political Stances Rarely Lift Returns of the Owners

Corporate Political Stances Rarely Lift Returns of the Owners

The question of what to do about the hard-left turn taken by so many of the country’s biggest corporations has bedeviled the center right in ...
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About The Free Enterprise Project

Justin Danhof speaks to a national gathering of conservative and religious leaders in August 2017

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.

 


Justin Danhof, Esq.

Justin Danhof

Justin Danhof

From 2012-2021, National Center Executive Vice President Justin Danhof, Esq,. served as the Director of the Free Enterprise Project. During that time, he filed dozens of shareholder resolutions and attended over 100 shareholder meetings carrying a sharp spear for liberty. As Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel noted in her 2016 political bestseller, The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech, “If you’ve never been to a corporate shareholder meeting, you’ve likely never heard of Justin Danhof. If you ever have been to one, you’ll likely never forget him.” Strassel spent a full chapter in her book detailing Danhof’s shareholder activism and fight for liberty.

Mr. Danhof’s legal expertise has come in handy during the filing of shareholder resolutions.  Corporations often hire outside attorneys from the nation’s leading law firms and petition the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission seeking to vacate our proposals. Companies often accrue six-figure legal bills fighting FEP proposals. Danhof single-handedly takes on these white-shoe law firms and regularly defeats lawyers that singly-handedly earn 30-times more per year than FEP’s entire annual budget.

In some years, Danhof has had a 66 percent success rate – a ratio that is relatively unheard of in front of the corporate-friendly judges at the SEC.

Since 2012, Danhof has participated in over 100 shareholder meetings to advance free-market ideals in health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and other important public policy issues.

Danhof’s work has generated a tremendous amount of media coverage.

FEP’s Top 10 Victories of 2019

FEP 2019 Impact Report

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.

apple-logo

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.

ge-logo

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

Perhaps A ‘70s Redux Is Our Best Hope

Perhaps A ‘70s Redux Is Our Best Hope

Things really are starting to look grim. Not too long ago, we had worried that the “Biden” Administration would be a Carter reprise. Now we can only hope. The obvious sign that we’re returning to the age of bellbottoms and quaaludes is the inflation rate. It’s high: 6.2 percent annualized ...
READ MORE
Corporate Political Stances Rarely Lift Returns of the Owners

Corporate Political Stances Rarely Lift Returns of the Owners

The question of what to do about the hard-left turn taken by so many of the country’s biggest corporations has bedeviled the center right in recent years. What is often termed “Conservative, Inc.,” or the beltway-brand of conservative opinion makers who held significant sway in past decades, have largely continued ...
READ MORE
Deconstructing Brian Moynihan

Deconstructing Brian Moynihan

Bank of America (BoA) CEO Brian Moynihan: insufferable, delusional, fraudulent. I have made the case for those conclusions on various grounds on these pages before, but today you can decide for yourself by watching the man’s performance here. I urge you to mark out a few hours to do so. (The ...
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Is Our CEOs Learning?

Is Our CEOs Learning?

No, that headline is not a typo. It’s a callback to the days early in the century when we on the right spent a lot of time defending a president whose facility with the English language was, on the most generous evaluation, intermittent. (His repayment for all of that support was ...
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Larry Fink Reveals The Unfixable Corruption Of ESG

Larry Fink Reveals The Unfixable Corruption Of ESG

Recent pronouncements by Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, have demonstrated that the ESG push is hopelessly and irretrievably conflicted in ways that conservatives and libertarians must fight. That’s not what he meant to convey, of course. What he meant to do was to tell us how we should all ...
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Published Commentaries by
Justin Danhof, Esq. & Scott Shepard

Justin Danhof

Justin Danhof, Esq.

Scott Shepard

Scott Shepard

Free Enterprise Project November 2021 Newsletter

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The biggest names in the conservative movement will be together at the National Conservatism Conference. We are excited to see Justin Danhof share thoughts on combatting the Left’s hostile takeover of American companies through the boardroom.
Sign up today! READ MORE
Panel 3: Justin Danhof and Scott Shepard of the National Center for Public Policy Research and Stephen Soukup of the Political Forum Institute discussed the growing trend of corporations putting aside fiduciary duties to concentrate on ESG goals. This change in focus has a profoundly negative impact on shareholders, customers, and society as a whole. READ MORE

IS THE NEXT BIDEN SCANDAL A POLITICIZED SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION?

In the average year, usually, about 50 percent of Free Enterprise Project proposals made it past SEC-staff review. After some changes that make the review process completely opaque and arbitrary, that number has fallen to zero. Only bias and corruption can explain this change.

“I guarantee you that, somewhere in the SEC’s posh D.C. headquarters, there is a letter directing staff to blacklist our proposals,” said National Center for Public Policy Research Executive Vice President Justin Danhof, Esq. READ MORE

BIDEN IN BED WITH BIG TECH

Scott Shepard, FEP Director, recounts the many ways in which the Biden Administration is colluding with private industry to restrict Americans’ First Amendment rights. Now that’s the kind of collusion that should bring on impeachment. READ MORE

FACEBOOK’S CHICKENS COMING HOME TO ROOST

Americans are still reeling over Facebook’s 6-hour outage. But beyond that, and thanks to new revelations from the Wall Street Journal, Facebook is actually “in a world of hurt” and “may not survive.”
That’s fine with Scott Shepard, director of the National Center’s FEP.

READ MORE

PFIZER’S “SYSTEMATIC RACISM” PROBLEM

“All non-minority applicants who are passed over for hiring or promotion at Pfizer should immediately sue the company for discriminatory hiring practices,” says Justin Danhof. READ MORE

 WALMART TRAINING TEACHES EXECS, MANAGERS ABOUT AMERICA’S “WHITE SUPREMACY CULTURE”

Justin Danhof , a Walmart shareholder through the National Center for Public Policy Research, condemned the CRT training for Walmart employees.

“As a Walmart shareholder, I really want to know how much money the company is spending to indoctrinate its employees with this racist propaganda,” Danhof told Fox Business. “I also want to know if Walmart staffers were given an opportunity to object to this madness without fear of reprisal. Telling company managers – in a mandatory training – that they are guilty of ‘white supremacy thinking’ is beyond insane,” Danhof added.

“But that’s the exact state of play with corporate America as more and more companies adopt racist and Marxist training programs.” READ MORE

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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.