Steve Bartlett and Bruce Freed join the McCuistion Program to discuss business and politics and whether or not they are a toxic mix.
Many people feel too much money is spent on political campaigns and lobbying activities – especially from Unions and other corporations who pursue their own special interests, rather than that of the general public.
Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, are:
- Steve Bartlett: Senior Advisor Treliant, Former CEO Financial Services Roundtable, and Congressman- R Texas
- Bruce Freed: President/ Founder, Center for Political Accountability
The increase in “secret monies” (undisclosed contributions) poses a serious risk to companies who could then be faced with extortion and shakedown threats. The rise in 501 (c)(4)’s, who may have a close affiliation with elected officials and less public reporting of where their funds go, is also bringing more attention to this issue. Shareholders and corporate directors feel strongly about disclosure and accountability. Both are necessary because of the risks that corporate political spending poses and because it is after all a matter of good corporate governance.
A 2013 CPA- Zicklin study found that among the top 200 companies in the Standard and Poor’s “500”:
- Almost 70% make some disclosure of direct political spending.
- 61% have Board oversight of political spending.
- 57% are open about their payments to trade associations.
- 35% disclose their payments or have policies against giving to 501 (c) (4)’s.
- 118 companies across the country had agreed to disclose political spending and give their boards more oversight over this issue.
Yet there are many decisions a company must make, economic, tax and regulations decisions that are central to its welfare. And, not to mention, there is a risk to not being more politically involved. Almost every decision that affects businesses in this country is made through the political, legislative and public policy process.
Is it possible that corporation’s, their shareholders and individuals may actually need to be more, not less involved so they can express their views on what impacts them?
Transparency and being knowledgeable is critical to a company’s reputation and all of us need to be savvier about this issue. So tune in and see what the experts have to say, pro and con, about an issue that affects us all.
Join Steve Bartlett, Bruce Freed and Dennis McCuistion as we talk about things that matter… with people who care.
Niki N. McCuistion
Organizational Culture, Governance and Strategic Planning,
Consultant and Problem Solver