CPA's Corporate 527 Donation Data Set

September 15, 2019

Please download the zip file below to access Center for Political Accountability’s research on contributions to and spending by 527 political committees over the past decade. CPA's research focused on six state-focused political committees, several of which reshaped state and national politics and policy. The associations are the Democratic and Republican Governors Associations (DGA and RGA), the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC), and the Democratic and Republican Attorneys General Associations (DAGA and R…

Mutual Fund Support for Corporate Political Disclosure Surges in 2018

2018 | CPA

The largest mutual funds’ support for the Center for Political Accountability’s corporate political disclosure resolution jumped significantly in 2018, to 53 percent from 45 percent in 2017, according to an analysis by Fund Votes. This eight percentage point increase was the largest since CPA began tracking institutional investor votes on its resolution in 2008.

Collision Course: The Risks Companies Face When Their Political Spending and Core Values Conflict, and How To Address Them (pdf)

2018

This report takes an in depth look at the consequences of political spending by the largest US public companies over the past decade. It examines how companies' corporate political spending often conflicts with their publicly stated values and the challenges this creates in today's hyper polarized environment. Collision Course Report

Mutual Fund Support for Political Spending Disclosure Jumps in First Year of Trump Presidency (pdf)

2017 | CPA

Support by mutual funds for the Center for Political Accountability’s corporate political disclosure resolution jumped significantly in 2017, to 48 percent from 43 percent in 2016, according to an analysis by Fund Votes. The analysis also found that abstentions decreased from five percent to three percent, indicating a shift toward more active support for political transparency in the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Three Top Mutual Funds' Votes Support CPA Political Disclosure Resolution in Line with Their Policies (pdf)

2016 | CPA

Three of the four mutual fund groups that received top rankings for political spending disclosure and accountability in a recent benchmarking study have largely aligned their proxy votes with their policies, supporting at least half of the Center for Political Accountability’s model political disclosure resolutions in this year’s proxy season.

Corporate Political Disclosure and the Mutual Fund Vote (pdf)

2015 | CPA

Mutual funds support for corporate political spending disclosure resolutions held firm in the 2015 proxy season, according to the Center for Political Accountability’s latest survey of mutual fund voting records. This year, funds voted for disclosure 42 percent of the time on average, slightly above the 40 percent vote last year.

A Board Member’s Guide to Corporate Political Spending

2015 | Harvard Business Review

The 2016 U.S. election cycle is on track to break political spending records — and corporate contributions will be a large part of that. More than ever, it is the directors’ responsibility to determine when and how their company should engage in political activities. But do board members actually know how to provide proper oversight and help their companies navigate this perilous landscape? Our contention is no. Despite the prevalence of corporate political spending, our conversations with company leaders have revealed a knowledge gap on the depth and breadth of risks involved as well as the oversight needed. These risks extend to a company’s reputation, its employee relations, its customer and shareholder relationships, its legal footing, and attainment of its business strategies.

Handbook on Corporate Political Activity: Emerging Governance Issues (pdf)

2010 | The Conference Board

This Handbook on Corporate Political Activity explains the ways in which companies’ political expenditures may inadvertently invite problems, and describes concrete steps that companies can take to steer clear of them. It recognizes that companies will want to fashion their political spending strategies to fit their individual needs. Its central point is that thoughtful political spending decisions that are embedded in a board-approved, robust governance structure can help guard against the pitfalls always present in political spending.

Political Money: The Need for Director Oversight (pdf)

2008 | The Conference Board Executive Action Report

When it comes to corporate governance, one area often overlooked is company involvement in politics. The amount of money companies spend for political purposes is relatively small and viewed as immaterial, even though business historically has been a major political funder. Until recently, political expenditures were not fully disclosed and were rarely subject to oversight by boards.

Taking Initiative: How Corporate Contributions to Ballot Measures Pose a Risk to Shareholders, and Why Directors Must Oversee Company Political Spending (pdf)

2008 | CPA

Taking Initiative is the first comprehensive study of how corporations put themselves and shareholder value at risk by failing to critically examine their contributions to ballot measures. It explores the proliferation of the initiative in American politics as a means of polarizing and galvanizing voters, and takes a close look at how initiative campaigns have become the beneficiaries of corporate cash. Recent experience— California and Arizona provide some of the starkest examples—suggests that corporations sometimes contribute without a clear business rationale.

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