In its January 2010 “Citizens United” decision, the Supreme Court lifted all but a handful of restraints on corporate spending on politics.
How have companies responded? Are they spending on politics? And, if they are, how are they navigating disclosure, board oversight and the associated risks?
A new study from the Center for Political Accountability, in conjunction with the Carol and Lawrence Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, gives us some intriguing insights.
I found the results encouraging. The research, which is the first of its kind since Citizens United, revealed that many leading companies are taking steps to increase corporate political transparency and accountability. They are disclosing political spending and working to safeguard shareholders from its potential risk.
In fact, based on seven key indicators, the CPA-Zicklin Index identified the following S&P 100 companies as the top 10 for political transparency and accountability: Colgate-Palmolive Co., Exelon Corp., International Business Machines, Merck & Co. Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer Inc., United Parcel Service Inc., Dell Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. and EMC Corp.
Here’s a look at a few additional findings: (more…)