CAPS Holiday Shopping Guide

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                       CONTACT:  Gena Madow, Fenton, 202 789 7756
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2011                 gmadow@fenton.com

HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDE AIMS AT COMPANIES THAT HIDE THEIR SPENDING ON ELECTIONS

Bipartisan Coalition of Public Officials Praises IBM, Colgate-Palmolive
for Spending Restraint and Disclosure

Cites Amazon, Wal-Mart, Nike, Berkshire-Hathaway, CVS, others
for Spending and Secrecy

***Interviews Available***


*** See Guide at http://bit.ly/holiday-shopping ***

A holiday shopping guide aimed at closing the corporate political spending floodgates opened by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling was released today by the Coalition for Accountability in Political Spending (CAPS). It identifies well-known companies that spend freely on elections, fail to disclose that spending, and whose boards exercise little or no oversight on their political spending, as well as companies that limit their outlays on elections or report it publicly. By letting shoppers know how well-known companies perform based on their rankings in the Baruch Index of Corporate Political Disclosure (“Baruch Index”) and the CPA-Zicklin Index of Corporate Political Accountability and Disclosure (“CPA Index”), CAPS hopes to encourage companies to spend less and disclose more.

You can view the shopping guide here: http://bit.ly/holiday-shopping

The group includes Illinois’ Governor Pat Quinn, California’s State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, New York City’s Public Advocate, Bill de Blasio, Pennsylvania’s State Treasurer, Rob McCord, and other public officials (see full list below) who sit on the boards of public pension funds and share the view, confirmed by business school researchers, that corporate spending on elections is bad for a company’s bottom line and therefore bad for shareholders and employees’ pensions. CAPS members apply pressure on companies to limit their political spending and increase disclosure through direct engagement, pension fund activism, contracting reform, as well as state and local legislation.

Since Citizens United, an increasing number of companies have decided to strengthen disclosure of political spending, voluntarily limit their spending, and increase board oversight. However, many other companies have not embraced these reforms. Less than one-third of S&P 500 firms guarantee that their board has oversight responsibility for their company’s political spending. Even then, 90% of that board’s action is a post-hoc review of what management has done.

Kate CoyneMcCoy, CAPS’ Executive Director, Illinois’ Governor Pat Quinn, California Treasurer Bill Lockyer, Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord, and NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio are available for interviews upon request.

Kate CoyneMcCoy is the former Regional director of the Political Opportunity Program (POP) at EMILY’s List, the largest political action network in the United States, and has served as a Fellow in the Women’s Public Policy Program at Harvard University since 2007.

Current CAPS members include: Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, North Carolina State Treasurer Janet Cowell, New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, Pennsylvania State Treasurer Rob McCord, Public Advocate for the City of New York Bill de Blasio, Comptroller for the City of Los Angeles Wendy Greuel, North Carolina State Representative William Current, Sr., New Hampshire State Representative James Pilliod, and Hillsborough County Commissioner Toni Pappas.

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About Hamilton Richards

I retired in 1966 as a Senior Lecturer in Computer Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. These days I volunteer technical support for Citizens' Climate Lobby (Austin chapter), Common Ground for Texans, (CG4Tx.org), Integrity Texas (IntegrityTexas.org), and several friends.
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