Statement of U.S. PIRG Federal Legislative Office Director Gary Kalman on the Introduction of Shareholder Protection Act
“The supreme Court’s decision last year in Citizens United v FEC afforded already powerful corporate interests even greater influence in our elections. In that decision, a majority of justices swept away decades of legal precedent and protections which served to protect the integrity of our elections process.
Today’s introduction of the Shareholder Protection Act is a simple yet powerful response to rein in unaccountable spending by corporate CEOs and others who lead public companies. The bill’s simple yet potent provisions call for shareholders to determine whether the company should risk engaging in electoral politics. As we saw with a few companies whose political giving became public in the 2010 election, there are consequences.
If the Court deems corporations to be more like people for the purposes of elections, a position U.S. PIRG strongly disagrees with, at least let the actual people who own the corporation have a say in how their money is being spent.
U.S. PIRG applauds Sen. Menendez (NJ), Sen. Blumenthal (CT), Rep. Capuano (MA) and Rep. Eshoo (CA) for proposing this important check on executive behavior. Corporate profits beling to the shareholders and should not be used by executives as their own personal political action committee.
We look forward to working with the sponsors and other in Congress to pass this critical reform.”
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U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups, is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organization.
For more information on U.S. PIRG’s campaigns for Elections & Government Reform, click here.