Sustainable Investment Organization Releases Guide for Individual and Institutional Investors to Address Corporate Political Spending
Guide is the third in a series published by the US SIF Foundation
WASHINGTON, DC- Today the US SIF Foundation released a guide to assist investors concerned about the growing and largely undisclosed spending by corporations to influence elections and politics in the United States. The problem has grown more acute since the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission in 2010 permitted corporations and other groups to spend unlimited amounts for political advertisements that call for the election or defeat of federal candidates.
Confronting Corporate Money in Politics highlights practical strategies, particularly through shareholder engagement, that investors can use to encourage publicly traded companies whose shares they own to disclose or curb their political expenditures. It also suggests how investors who own shares in companies indirectly through mutual funds can monitor and influence their fund managers' votes on shareholder resolutions regarding political spending issues. The guide notes, too, that investors have options with respect to the banks they patronize and can choose to avoid financial institutions with excessive or poorly disclosed political and lobbying expenditures.
In the realm of public policy, the guide suggests initiatives for investors to support. These include joining the hundreds of thousands of investors who have already petitioned the Securities and Exchange Commission to require companies to disclose their political contributions and communicating with members of Congress to demonstrate support for this rule as well as legislation on political spending.
US SIF Foundation CEO Lisa Woll said, “Public opinion polls confirm that the vast majority of Americans are concerned that there is too much money in politics and that companies should only spend money on political campaigns if they disclose their spending immediately. Responsible investors share their concerns, and believe that the companies in which they invest should report and be able to explain the rationale for their political expenditures with corporate funds.”
Confronting Corporate Money in Politics is the third publication of the "How do I SRI" series of practical guidebooks. Each guide will focus on a social or environmental problem and the strategies through which investors can address it. The series is made possible through funding from the Wallace Global Fund.
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The US SIF Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, supports the educational and research activities of US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (US SIF). The US SIF Foundation publishes the biennial Report on Sustainable and Responsible Investing Trends in the United States, as well as topical reports on subjects such as community investing, alternative investments, emerging markets, and the impact of sustainable and responsible investing (SRI). The US SIF Foundation also operates the Center for Sustainable Investment Education, which produces online and live courses, including the Fundamentals of Sustainable and Responsible Investment and other educational resources to help advance SRI.
US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment is the US membership association for professionals, firms, institutions and organizations engaged in sustainable and responsible investing. US SIF and its members advance investment practices that consider environmental, social and corporate governance criteria to generate long-term competitive financial returns and positive societal impact. US SIF's members include investment management and advisory firms, mutual fund companies, research firms, financial planners and advisors, broker-dealers, banks, credit unions, community development organizations, non-profit associations, and pension funds, foundations and other asset owners. Learn more at www.ussif.org.
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