Tell Vanguard: support shareholder resolutions for disclosure!

Shareholder resolutions could be one of our most potent tools against dark money. Urge Vanguard to support requiring publicly traded corporations to disclose their political spending.

SIGN THE PETITION: Change the proxy voting guidelines to support disclosure resolutions

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Corporations are spending investors' money and retirement accounts -- maybe even YOURS -- to influence elections and lawmakers.

Shockingly, most corporate political spending is hidden to even their stockholders. But any publicly traded company has to disclose all of its political spending if enough of its shareholders ask.

Here's the problem: on their own, individual stockholders don't control enough stock to win majority support for a pro-disclosure shareholder resolution. Most stock is held by institutional investors like mutual funds, who tend let the corporation's executives call the shots.

So even when a majority of people who own stock want disclosure, they can't get it done without institutional investors. That's why we're calling on Vanguard, the largest mutual fund in the nation, to vote FOR disclosure whenever a resolution comes up.

When Vanguard sends its representatives to shareholder meetings, they issue a set of guidelines for how to vote. Unless the guidelines mention a rule specifically, these representatives tend to abstain or follow what the corporate Board of Directors says -- but there's nothing stopping them from adding a rule for transparency.

If Vanguard makes the right choice here, it could set off a chain reaction of mutual funds joining the fight for disclosure. After all, knowing exactly how the companies they invest in are spending their money is in any investor's -- and our democracy's -- best interest.

Mutual funds own about 25% of stock in American companies -- which adds up to a lot of votes. If we could count on all of those votes to support resolutions for disclosure, it'd be much easier to get them passed and win the transparency we've been fighting for.

Shareholder activism isn't the only tool in our toolbox to curb secret money's influence in our politics -- but if we get Vanguard and others on our side, it could become our best one.

Shareholder meeting season is gearing up and time is ticking, so tell Vanguard to support full corporate disclosure today!

SIGN THE PETITION: Change the proxy voting guidelines to support disclosure resolutions

1. Add your name!

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If you respond and have not already registered, you will receive periodic updates and communications from Common Cause.

 

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