Thought Leaders Voice Their Concerns

“All this is coordinated, [the objective] is to strangle the other side’s resources. They’re trying to get the momentum up. [The goal is to create a] chilling effect … so that [other companies] see what’s going on.” 
– Former SEC Commissioner Paul Atkins, Washington Free Beacon, January 29, 2013

“At the corporate level, the browbeating takes a different form. In general the idea is to manipulate whatever levers are available (e.g., shareholder resolutions) to expose, isolate and demonize some recipient of the company’s giving.”

– Bill McGurn, Wall Street Journal, September 24, 2012

“Today we have too many people saying not only ‘I disagree with you,’ but ‘I hate your message and you shouldn’t be allowed to say it. The more ruthless then use disclosure laws to seek out and target those who hold contrary views.”
– Fmr. FEC Commissioner Brad Smith, September 24, 2012

“In 2012, more than 50 shareholder proposals seeking to force disclosure of corporate political spending or otherwise limit corporate political activity have been introduced at Fortune 200 companies. None of these has received as much as 40 percent of the vote, and the average vote in support has hovered around 20 percent — down from last year.”
– Jim Copland, Manhattan Institute Director of the Center for Legal Policy, June 21, 2012

“2012 may be miserable — but if it is, it won’t be because corporations spend on politics. And anyway, they have a right to spend. In politics, money is speech. The very first amendment that the Founders chose to add to the Constitution couldn’t be more clear…Yet most people support laws against political speech — when they don’t like the speakers.”
– John Stossel, Real Clear Politics, June 20, 2012

“This is nothing less than an effort by the government itself to expose its critics to harassment and intimidation, either by government authorities or through third-party allies.”
– Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speech at the American Enterprise Institute, June 15 2012

“This issue is couched as corporate disclosure…I think a lot of corporations get back on their heels rushing to disclose, they need to toughen up.”
– Laura Ingraham, The Laura Ingraham Show, June 3, 2012

“Those proposing these resolutions have policy views different from companies and want to use the disclosure as a whipping stick to force companies to stop engaging in the political and policy process,”
– Andrew Pincus, Partner at Mayer Brown, May 21, 2012

“This isn’t the effort of public-spirited believers in shareholder rights and transparency. It’s part of a multiyear campaign by unions, left-wing activists and their factotums to expose and then vilify companies that disagree with them.”
– Wall Street Journal Review & Outlook, March 20, 2012