Netflix Inc., Uber Technologies Inc. and some of the hundreds of large companies signed a letter Wednesday voicing restrictions on voting rights opposing shareholder resolutions that urge transparency on political spending and lobbying. their own lang.
While political contributions and lobbying expenditures are often public, shareholders have long urged companies to disclose more information for the sake of complete transparency. When ballot-related bills are introduced nationwideThese shareholder proposals could reveal whether companies are donating to politicians, and organizations also advocate ensuring that Americans can exercise their right to vote.
James McRitchie, founder of California-based CorpGov.net, writes on Netflix: “Relying on available data doesn’t provide a big picture of a company’s electoral spending.
proposed shareholder of his wife, Myra Young. “For example, payments to trade associations that may be used for election-related activities are undisclosed and unspecified.”
The resolution at Netflix requires a report on corporate political spending to be updated every half a year. The proposal calls on the company to disclose direct and indirect contributions to political candidates, parties or organizations, and any other related expenditures. According to McRitchie, the streaming giant opposed the proposal in 2019 and 2020, when it received 41.7% and 41.9% of the vote, according to McRitchie.
When objecting to the proposal in the past few years, Netflix said its political contributions were disclosed as required by law, and that contributions to other entities would be disclosed to the IRS.
McRitchie told MarketWatch on Wednesday that Netflix has a “terrible record even when proposals reach over 50%”, noting that, for example, the company continues to ask for a majority to elect its board of directors despite shareholders voted a few years ago. allows a majority vote on corporate affairs.
“Voting is granted to citizens, but the Netflix board doesn’t want you to know who they support and the voting of their own shareholders has long been ignored,” he added. “Maybe we should all be streaming ‘The Land of Hypocrisy’.”
A Netflix spokesperson said the company has had no comment other than statements in its authorization over the past few years. Its next mandate will come before the scheduled annual shareholder meeting in June.
Also signed the letter with its chief executive officer, Dara Khosrowshahi, opposing a shareholder proposal to call for a report on the company’s lobbying activities.
“Uber does not disclose membership or payments to trade associations and welfare organizations, or the money used to lobby at the federal and state level, including Grassroots level lobbyists, ”suggested Teamsters.
But the company said in this year’s mandate that it believes this solution is not necessary. From the ride and delivery company’s objection statement: “The US corporate political contributions and independent expenses are available on our website, as well as the 501 (c) listing. (6) trade association membership and our US Corporate Political Activity Policy summary. “
Uber did not respond to a request for further comment.
On the other hand, Uber is recommending shareholders to vote on the board’s proposal to terminate majority voting requirements in changing the charter or establishment certificate, as well as remove members. board.
“The Board of Directors considers the fact that many of the terms of incorporation certificates and standards-compliant laws are largely the result of negotiations between former management and key shareholders,” said the company. company said, at the same time noting that none of those former executives still belonged to Uber board.
Other tech companies signed the letter “We support democracy” including Google
and Facebook Inc.
both have dual-class stock structures that are far from democracy. This week, Facebook in its proxy object to a resolution of a shareholder urges the social media giant to demolish that stock structure.