Since 2003, the Center for Political Accountability has spearheaded a successful campaign for disclosure and accountability in corporate political spending. Corporations are significant spenders in elections at the state and local level, and are a dominant force in shaping policy. Where no one else has succeeded, CPA has employed a common sense proposal to change corporate spending norms.

Bringing Sunlight to Shadowy Spending

“Do you know which candidates your company is funding?” FORTUNE magazine has asked. For answers, FORTUNE directed readers to the annual transparency and accountability index we produce. Fifteen years ago, you couldn’t find these answers anywhere. With Congress and regulatory agencies deadlocked, CPA alone is helping corporations shine sunlight on their previously undisclosed spending. We are achieving disclosure and board oversight of company spending that once was hidden.

Highlights of CPA at Work

INNOVATION: CPA uses an innovative strategy of shareholder engagement to persuade corporations to disclose their political spending, and to oversee it.

COLLABORATION: We’ve teamed up with some of the premier business organizations and academic institutions in the U.S. to sponsor groundbreaking events, write authoritative reports, produce the CPA-Zicklin Index of Corporate Political Disclosure and Accountability, and develop the first business school course focusing on these issues. 

  • The Conference Board published The Handbook on Corporate Political Activity, featuring CPA as lead author, in 2010.
  • The annual CPA-Zicklin Index of Corporate Political Disclosure and Accountability (launched in 2011) is produced with the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Roundtables examining corporate election spending and its risks have been held with The Wharton School, New York University’s Stern School of Business, Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business, UCLA School of Law, and Columbia Law School.
  • The first business school course on corporate political engagement and executive statesmanship, launched in 2015, was offered by the Stern School


DISTINCTION: For its pioneering work, CPA won the prestigious Joan Bavaria Innovation Award in 2010 from Ceres, the largest coalition of socially responsible investors, environmental groups, and public interest organizations in North America.

EXPOSURE: We’ve captured extensive national attention in both mainstream news media and business media, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg News, Fortune, and NPR. Our op-eds have appeared in The Washington Post, Reuters, The Hill, US News & World Report, and the Financial Times.

CPA is a 501(c)(3) organization. All contributions are tax-exempt.

Our IRS Form 990 is available here: 2015  2016

Our donors can be found here.

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