NLPC seeks to promote integrity in corporate governance, including honesty and fair play in relationships with shareholders, employees, business partners and customers. In doing so, NLPC places special emphasis on:
* Asserting that the social responsibility of the corporation is to defend and advance the interests of the people who own the company, the shareholders. True responsibility is fidelity to one’s own mission, not someone else’s, or someone else’s political agenda.
* Exposing the seeking of influence on public officials by corporations, which is the inevitable result of high levels of government spending and intervention in the marketplace.
* Combating practices that undermine the free enterprise system, including philanthropic giving to groups hostile to a free economy.
The American Family Association (AFA) is criticizing PepsiCo’s financial support of activist groups promoting gay marriage. PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation are major funders of the Human Rights Campaign, and a group called Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
AFA president Don Wildmon is asking PepsiCo to become “neutral” on the issue of gay marriage by ending support for the groups. Wildmon’s complaints echo those of NLPC, made in 2006 and 2007, of a liberal political bias in the company’s giving. At that time, NLPC objected to PepsiCo’s financial support for groups founded by Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.
In 2006 and 2007, NLPC sponsored shareholder proposals that would have required PepsiCo to disclose its charitable giving, and most importantly, provide a business rationale for each gift. NLPC’s interest in PepsiCo’s charitable giving is based on shareholder rights.
NLPC believes that shareholder interests are best served when … Read More ➡
NLPC is a critic of the ethical climate fostered by Boeing’s management. In 2003, NLPC exposed the Boeing tanker deal scandal, sending two Boeing executives to prison, and saving taxpayers at least $4-5 billion. In 2005, the Army announced that it would renegotiate Boeing’s contract for Future Combat Systems after NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm testified before a Senate committee that the contract exempted Boeing from virtually all statutes dealing with waste, fraud and abuse.
NLPC has also protested Boeing’s financial support for Jesse Jackson’s groups and its sponsorship of an 2006 event featuring Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan.
The resolution reads:
RESOLVED: that the shareholders of Boeing (“the Company”) urge the Board of Directors to seek shareholder approval of future severance agreements with senior executives that provide benefits in an amount exceeding 200% of the sum of the executives’ base salary plus bonus.
Al Sharpton’s group, the National Action Network (NAN), held its annual convention April 1-4 in New York City. The event included NAN’s “Keepers of the Dream” award presentations. Last year, Colgate-Palmolive accepted the “corporate excellence” award, prompting NLPC to ask the company to give it back. At the Colgate-Palmolive annual shareholders’ meeting a few weeks later, I made an issue of the award, calling it a “dubious honor indeed.”
This year, no corporation was identified from the podium or in the program as getting a Keepers award. Yet, a full-page Colgate-Palmolive ad in the same program reads:
Colgate-Palmolive is honored to be named Corporation of the Year by the National Action Network at the 11th Annual Keepers of the Dream Awards.
So, did Colgate accept the award, or not?
Perhaps the company accepted the award, but did not want to be publicly identified with Sharpton at the event itself, in … Read More ➡
Ford Motor Company has applied for $11 billion in taxpayer funds for retooling, and has access to an additional $9 billion line of credit from the government. Yet, the company was a financial sponsor of Al Sharpton’s national convention last week that featured a speech by Vice-President Joseph Biden.
In a letter today to Steven Rattner, who directs President Obama’s auto industry task force, I wrote,
Ford’s financial support for Sharpton places into doubt the judgment of Ford executives. I can think of no expenditure farther removed from the core mission of saving the company and the American auto industry than bankrolling Sharpton. It is your responsibility to ensure that no more capital is wasted on controversial political causes, no matter how supportive they are of the administration you represent.
In a Complaint filed today with TARP Inspector General Neil M. Barofsky, I wrote,
Although Rick Wagoner should have been gone years ago, Barack Obama has exceeded presidential authority in firing the CEO of a major corporation. Of course, the justification is that GM is accepting government money, but Congress has not authorized money for an auto bailout.
The money has come from the TARP, which was supposed to used to buy the toxic assets of banks. The Constitution is being shredded. This concentration of power in the hands of the President, a small circle of advisors, and financiers is dangerous.
If Obama can take over sick companies, why can’t he take over healthy companies he doesn’t like? After all, he’s not only criticized the auto companies for building certain kinds of cars, but he’s criticized oil companies for their business decisions. Can Obama now tell oil companies to close down their wells and build windmills?
It is government that destroyed the U.S. carmakers … Read More ➡
If Barack Obama wants another trillion or more for toxic-asset purchases, what was the TARP for? The burden is on him and Timothy Geithner to explain why another Wall Street bailout will work when the previous ones have not.
This latest plan would have the taxpayer finance the purchase of troubled assets, opening the door for unregulated opaque entities like hedge funds to speculate with taxpayer funds. This “public-private partnership” might also be called the Obama Hedge Fund Bailout.
When TARP was passed by Congress in October, its purported purpose was to buy toxic assets from banks. Instead, the $700 billion has been used to buy preferred stock in banks, bail out the automakers, and now bail out the automakers’ suppliers. Yet these stock purchases have failed to prevent the deterioration of bank’s capital positions, even as common stock, held by millions of small investors, has been crushed.