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Thursday
May132010

Strong Showing for Corporate Transparency Shareholder Proposals 

The shareholder proposal encouraging PG&E to make its lobbying activity more transparent received 24 percent approval today, Tom Borelli tells me.

That’s actually a very strong response, given that most shareholders automatically follow the recommendations of management on these votes, and management opposed transparency.

Coincidentally, 24 percent is the precise amount of support Duke Energy shareholders extended to a similar proposal last week to disclose to shareholders the extent to which it works with, and provides financial support to, non-profit organizations lobbying for restrictive and expensive global warming-related policies.

Management won in both cases, but it has to be keeping an eye on the situation.

If I ran one of these corporations, I’d beat the rush and disclose all this information voluntarily on my website. “We already disclose that; here’s the URL” is a great response to transparency requests. Good for the public, which benefits from knowing which groups are supported by which interests, and good for the companies, who benefit from the good PR associated with being thought of as transparent.

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