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Corporate Political Spending:
Scholarly Articles & Reports

This page contains background information on corporate political spending, including links to scholarly articles and reports on the topic.


Boards Should Treat Corporate Political Spending as a Strategic and Reputation Risk Issue: The Conference Board Governance Center’s Chia
August 8, 2016 | Corporate Law & Accountability Report

Proxy Preview: Helping  Shareholders Vote Their Values
March 18, 2016 | Press Release

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc.
Transparency. Inclusiveness. Global Expertise.
December 28, 2015 | 2016 U.S. Proxy Voting Summary Guidelines

Requiring Government Contractors to Disclose Political Spending
March 27, 2015 | Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law

Corporate Political Spending: Policies and Practices, Accountability, and Disclosure (Second Edition)
30 November, 2015 | The Conference Board

Corporate Political Spending: Policies and Practices, Accountability, and Disclosure
20 December, 2012 | The Conference Board

Do Corporations & Unions Face the Same Rules for Political Spending?
23 July, 2014 | Demos 

Stop Hiding the Ball on Corporate Political Activity
02 July, 2014 | Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law

CII Comment Letter on 2014-2018 Strategic Plan for Securities Exchange Commission
12 March, 2014 | The Council of Institutional Investors

Proxy Preview: Helping  Shareholders Vote Their Values
05 March, 2014 | As You Sow, Sustainable Investments Institute, Proxy Impact

Sunlight for Shareholders:  Accountability for Corporate Political Spending
August 2012 | Corporate Reform Coalition

Fulfilling Kennedy’s Promise: Why the SEC Should Mandate Disclosure of Corporate Political Activity
September 2011 | Harvard Law School and Public Citizen

How Companies Influence Elections: Political Campaign Spending Patterns & Oversight at America's Largest Companies
October 2010 | IRRC Institute and Sustainable Investments Institute

Scholarly Articles 

Disguised Contributions in the Channels of Corporate Political Spending
January 11, 2016 | Adam Fremeth, Brian Kelleher and Brandon Schaufele

Informing Shareholders: Providing a Roadmap for the SEC to Act to Require Public Corporations to Disclose Political Spending, The George Washington University  Law School Public Law and Legal Theory Paper No. 2015-61, Albany Government Law Review (Forthcoming)
2015 | William Alan Nelson

Disclosure of Corporate Political Spending: Problematic or Pragmatic
Emory Corporate Governance & Accountability Review
2015 | Steven Zuckerman

Political Origins of Shareholder Activism: Corporate Political Spending and Shareholder Proposal
Virginia Law and Economics Research Paper No. 15
30 April, 2015 | Geeyoung Min and Hye Young You

How Corporate Lobbyists Conquered American Democracy?
The Atlantic
20 April, 2015 | Lee Drutman

Dollars, democracy and disclosure: Should investors demand better disclosure from Canadian corporations on political spending
The Shareholder Association for Research & Education
January 2015 | Kevin Thomas 

Are Canadian corporations spending to influence the U.S. political process?
The Shareholder Association for Research & Education
October 2014 | Kevin Thomas

The Non-Expert Agency: Using the SEC to Regulate Partisan Politics
24 September, 2014 | Harvard Business Law Review

Risky Business? Corporate Political Spending, Shareholder Approval, and Stock Volatility
01 September, 2014 | University of Rochester

The Uncertain Future of the Corporate Contribution Ban
25 July, 2014 | Valparaiso University Law Review

The Business of American Democracy: Citizens United, Independent Spending, and Elections
23 July, 2014 | Working Paper 

A New Light on Public Company Political Spending Disclosure
16 May, 2014 | Columbia Business Law Review

Against An SEC-Mandated Rule on Political Spending Disclosure: A Reply To Bebchuk and Jackson
24 September, 2013 | Harvard Business Law Review

Materiality: A Bedrock Principle Protecting Legitimate Shareholder Interests Against Disguised Political Agendas
24 September, 2013 | Harvard Business Law Review

The SEC and Dark Political Money: An Historical Argument Requiring Disclosure
18 June, 2013 | Stetson University College of Law Research Paper

Shareholder-Authorized Corporate Political Spending in the United Kingdom
University of San Francisco Law Review
November 21, 2011 | Ciara Torres-Spelliscy & Kathy Fogel

Corporate Campaign Spending: Giving Shareholders A Voice
27 January, 2010 | Stetson University College of Law

Shining Light on Corporate Political Spending
September 2012 | Georgetown Law Journal

Updating Disclosure for the New Era of Independent Spending
16 April, 2012 | Columbia Public Law Research Paper

Super PACs
16 April, 2012 | Minnesota Law Review

The (Non-) Effects of Campaign Finance Spending Bans on Macro Political Outcomes: Evidence From the States
March 1, 2012 | Raymond J. La Raja and Brian F. Schaffner

Corporate Political Contributions and Stock Returns
26 September, 2008 | The Journal of Finance

Corporate Political Donations: Investment or Agency?
17 May, 2008 | Business and Politics


Investors Push for Fuller Picture of Corporate Political Contributions
April 4, 2016 |The Wall Street Journal

Corporate Political Spending Becomes Compliance Issue
March 3, 2016 | The Wall Street Journal

Hindering the S.E.C. From Shining a Light on Political Spending
December 21, 2015 | The New York Times

A Board Member’s Guide to Corporate Political Spending
October 30, 2015 | Harvard Business Review

Corporations Open Up About Political Spending
June 9, 2015 | The New York Times

Good News in the Proxy Wars: The left's political disclosure campaign is falling flat
24 May, 2014 | Wall Street Journal

SEC drops disclosure of corporate political spending from its priority list
30 November, 2013 | The Washington Post

The Corporate Lobbying Proxy War
28 April, 2013 | The Wall Street Journal

Corporate Donations and the S.E.C.
23 April, 2013 | The New York Times

How the Big Money Finds a Way In
19 September, 2011 | The New York Times

Fulfilling the promise of 'Citizens United'
06 September, 2011 | The Washington Post 


SEC’s Non-Decision Decision on Corporate Political Activity a Policy and Political Mistake
13 December, 2013 | The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation

Why Both Shareholders and Companies Should Support Political Spending Transparency
30 October 2013 | The Huffington Post Blog

Time for corporations to disclose political donations
02 October, 2013 | The Hill Congress Blog

The Case for Transparency in Corporate Political Spending
30 January, 2013 | The CLS Blue Sky Blog

Citizens United is bad for business, too
16 July, 2012 | The Hill Congress Blog

Can shareholder activism affect corporate political spending?
07 July, 2012 | Thomson Reuters News & Insight

Global Investors Call for Political Disclosure Rule
30 August, 2011 | ISS Governance Blog

Corporate Political Spending Issue Now at SEC’s Doorstep
11 August, 2011 | The Governance Center Blog

Toward SEC Rules on Disclosure of Political Spending
04 August, 2011 | The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation

Protecting Shareholders after Citizens United
13 July, 2011 | Brennan Center for Justice Blog

The Conference Board does not represent that the data, information, analysis, conclusions or opinions provided by the listed Internet resources are correct or complete.  The Web sites and resources listed above are included for informational purposes and convenience only, and are not affiliated with, endorsed, or recommended by The Conference Board, the Committee, or its members.

Updated: 7/8/2016

Download the Committee's Report
Handbook on Corporate Political Activity
This handbook offers an overview of the legal rules and standard practices related to political activity, as well as a discussion of internal oversight of political spending.

Complimentary registration required.

Download the report


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