Napa CA – Harrington Investments, Inc. (HII), a Napa, California-based Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) is supporting a petition before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and joining investment colleagues and civil society organizations in demanding that the agency adopt a rule to require corporations to publicly disclose with the SEC all contributions to politicians and political campaigns.
Harrington has also submitted shareholder resolutions with Sunrise Senior Living and WellPoint calling for corporate management to publicly disclose political spending. Both companies have opposed the resolutions.
“Publicly traded large corporations, thanks to the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, are now poised to dominate our political system by flooding campaigns and politicians with money to buy special favors in Washington,” said John Harrington, President and CEO of Harrington Investments, Inc., a socially responsible investment advisory firm. “At the very least, shareholders, as the legal owners of corporations, as well as the investing public, should know how much corporate management is spending to elect politicians to represent them in Washington.”
In November 2011, Harrington Investments joined other investment advisors, mutual funds and institutional investors representing almost a billion dollars in assets in supporting a petition before the SEC to require greater corporate transparency of political spending. Over 75,000 people have submitted comments to the agency regarding the petition.
In addition, Harrington is supporting a public demonstration before the SEC in Washington D.C. on March 26, 2012 taking place outside the agency, in which civil society organizations are calling for public disclosure of corporate political financing of campaigns and politicians. The organizations include the Coalition for Accountability in Political Spending (CAPS), Public Citizen, Common Cause, U.S. Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG), and other non-governmental and socially responsible investment organizations.
Bill de Blasio, New York City Public Advocate, held a giant clock to symbolize that time is ticking for the SEC to act. Immediately after the action de Blasio hopes to meet with SEC Chair Mary Schapiro to discuss the need for transparency in corporate spending and to call on all of the commissioners to provide a timeline on when they will respond to this petition. Already, one sitting commissioner, Luis Aguilar, has voiced his support for the disclosure measure. The Supreme Court endorsed full disclosure by 8-1 in the Citizens United ruling. The SEC could and should close the disclosure gap for the publicly traded companies they oversee, the groups said. For more information, visit: http://bit.ly/wake-up-SEC. To learn more about the Corporate Reform Coalition, visit: http://www.corporatereformcoalition.org.
HII is a thirty-year old socially responsible investment advisory firm, managing assets for individual and institutional investors, utilizing a comprehensive social and environmental screening process, including shareholder advocacy and community investing opportunities for its clients.
The HII letter to the SEC in support of the petition requesting the agency to adopt a rule requiring corporate disclosure of political contributions is attached, as is a copy of the shareholder resolutions filed at Sunrise Senior Living and WellPoint.