Comcast Directors Refuse to Disclose Political Donations, So Shareholder Does It for Them

–News Direct–

Ahead of its annual meeting on Monday, June 10, the directors for Comcast Corporation have had their past political campaign donations publicized on the Securities and Exchange Commissions website, after the company refused to allow a vote on a shareholder proposal that requested transparency of that information.

As the parent of major media organizations that include NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, Telemundo and Sky, Comcast has an outsized influence on global news reporting and opinion-forming for its massive audiences, predominantly in the Americas and in Europe. Late last year National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), an investor in Comcast, had introduced a shareholder proposal to request the Board to implement a policy in which director candidates each year would be required to disclose their charitable donations and campaign contributions above certain amounts, going back five and 10 years, respectively. Citing several examples of Comcasts past advocacy in support of controversial political news developments and issues from a left-leaning perspective, NLPC asked for greater transparency about the boards worldviews via the disclosure of members past philanthropic and political donations.

Shareholders are uninformed about members ideological and political views, the proposal stated. Greater transparency is needed to allow shareholders to know whether our Board suffers partisan capture and therefore the group-think and ideological blinders that have cost some companies dearly in recent years.

However, not wanting shareholders to have the ability to vote on NLPCs proposal much less disclose its directors charity, candidate and political party support Comcast asked the SEC for permission to exclude the resolution from its proxy statement, and therefore from its annual meeting. The SEC allowed the company to omit the proposal.

Subsequently, NLPC filed a proxy memo with the SEC last month in which it opposed the election of all 10 director nominees, over their refusal to allow shareholders to vote on the measure.

In addition to NLPCs rationale for opposing the nominees, the proxy memo also includes some of the very information Comcasts directors tried to conceal: their campaign contributions for federal races going back at least 10 years, extracted from Federal Election Commission records.

Comcast argued that it was improper for director nominees personal charity and campaign donations to be disclosed and should be off-limits, said Paul Chesser, director of the Corporate Integrity Project for NLPC. Its a bogus argument, at least regarding state and federal races, as those contributions are required to be reported to state elections boards and the FEC, and to be made available to the public.

NLPC sponsored the same proposal for the annual meetings of Alphabet, Amazon and Home Depot as well. None of those companies opposed allowing a vote on director transparency at their meetings.

You might think Big Tech companies might be more reluctant to make such disclosures, but they were at least willing to allow their investors to weigh in on the issue, Chesser added. Meanwhile Comcast controls some of the most extensive and influential news gathering organizations in the world. Their Board owes it to their audiences, as well as their shareholders, to inform them where they stand ideologically.

Founded in 1991, the National Legal and Policy Center promotes ethics in public life through research, investigation, education and legal action.

Contact Details

National Legal and Policy Center

Dan Rene

+1 202-329-8357

drene@nlpc.org

Company Website

http://www.nlpc.org

View source version on newsdirect.com: https://newsdirect.com/news/comcast-directors-refuse-to-disclose-political-donations-so-shareholder-does-it-for-them-833747923

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