Shareholders vs. management on political contributions

by John MacBeath Watkins

Looks like I'm not the only one to think corporate executives might be spending money on politics that benefit their interest instead of shareholders'.

"The activists' proposals ask each of the four companies to review political spending and contributions, with an eye on their own corporate rules against political spending.
"Shareholders are likely to introduce more such measures as similar legislation stalls in Washington, said Lucian Bebchuk, a Harvard University law school professor who studies corporate governance.
"In a forthcoming paper, Bebchuk himself and co-writer Robert Jackson of Columbia University argue that shareholders should be given the chance to vote directly on political contributions and that companies ought to be required to disclose their spending to intermediaries.
"Currently, when it comes to such support, "the interests of (company) directors and executives may significantly diverge from those of shareholders," they write."