Today, CCP is releasing materials documenting the effort of some groups to engage in corporate democracy, a managed and directed attempt to convince corporations of the “economic risk” of engaging in political speech. The CCP Report on Activist Investing, as well as a supplemental report by George Mason University Law Professor J.W. Verret and an Issue Toolkit, represent our attempt to note the ideological slant of some of these groups and the dangers their efforts pose to free political speech.
In short, while there is no evidence that corporate political speech hurts shareholders, there is ample evidence that certain individuals and groups are opposed to corporate political involvement for ideological and partisan reasons. Politics is supposed to be hard. With a handful of exceptions, there is no unanimity on economic and social topics. In a democracy, we deal with these disagreements through persuasion: we choose our leaders and enact our ballot measures only after a period of free debate and discussion, only after a campaign.
But some people want to take a shortcut. They’ve realized it’s easier to persuade voters if you drive your opponent from the public square.