New CPA-Zicklin Index Flawed

September 24, 2014   •  By Joe Trotter
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“Like asking a fox to offer ‘best practices’ for henhouses.”

The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) today criticized the newly released 2014 Center for Political Accountability (CPA-Zicklin) index as a “flawed and partisan measure of corporate accountability.”

“Treating the CPA-Zicklin Index as a measure of ‘best corporate practices’ is like asking foxes to offer best practices for henhouses,” said CCP President David Keating.

CCP Chairman Brad Smith, former Federal Election Commission Chairman, said “Corporations have an obligation to do what is in the best interest of their shareholders, not comply with the demands of a non-profit that opposes speech by the business community.”

“With all of the misinformation peddled by groups like the Center for Political Accountability, it’s important to recognize the implications of activist investing and dragging the SEC into politics,” added Smith.  “CPA has no obligation to worry about the actual interests of shareholders, and nothing suggests that they have the best interest of the business community at heart.”

“The Index is little more than activism cloaked in the garb of legitimate academia,” said CCP Media Manager Joe Trotter. “There is no evidence suggesting that further corporate disclosure provides a benefit to investors.  Rather, the disclosed information is used by activist investors to harass corporations until they either fall in line with activists or cease participating in our nation’s political discourse altogether.”

“CPA employs the ‘foot in the door’ technique to gradually push companies into complying with CPA’s activist agenda,” said CCP President David Keating. “Blinded by the short term success of avoiding negative publicity by complying with CPA, companies quickly find themselves in the increasingly uncomfortable position of trying to comply with CPA’s changing demands for unnecessary disclosure.”

The Index purports to rank companies that engage in “best corporate practices” for disclosure. CPA, which released the Index today, devotes most of its energy towards pushing shareholder resolutions that would tamp down on corporate speech. CPA’s President and Founder, Bruce Freed, is a former Democratic congressional aide, and the organization is staffed by former union and Democratic Party activists and staff. CPA does not disclose its own donors or politically related activities.

The Center for Competitive Politics promotes and defends the First Amendment’s protection of the political rights of speech, assembly, and petition. It is the nation’s largest organization dedicated solely to protecting First Amendment political rights.

Joe Trotter

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