Now, a group of
Specifically, the proposal would require PPL to publish on its website a semiannual report accounting for the company's expenditures, including the amounts, recipients and authorizing PPL officials.
"Long-term shareholders of PPL support transparency and accountability in corporate spending on political activities," reads the proposal, which was put forth by the
"Gaps in transparency and accountability may expose the company to reputational and business risks that could threaten long-term shareholder value," the proposal continues. "The company's board and its shareholders need comprehensive disclosure to be able to fully evaluate the political use of corporate assets."
PPL will wrap up voting on the measure and announce the results at its annual meeting Wednesday in
By equating corporate political spending to individuals' free speech, Citizens United freed corporations, unions and the very wealthy to spend unlimited sums independently on election campaigns. The ruling led to the creation of super PACs, which can collect millions of dollars from undisclosed donors to fund campaign ads.
Under pressure from shareholders, a number of big U.S. corporations, such as
PPL's board of directors, however, is opposed to the proposal, describing it as "duplicative and unnecessary."
"PPL reports all corporate lobbying-related activities and expenditures to appropriate state and federal agencies," the board said in PPL's proxy statement. "Information on PPL's current lobbying activities can be found in lobbying reports filed with various state and federal agencies."
Moreover, the board said, "the expanded disclosure requested in this proposal could place the company at a competitive disadvantage by revealing its strategies and priorities... and would cause PPL to incur undue cost and administrative burden."
A similar proposal was on the shareholder ballot last year. It was voted down.
PPL's annual meeting will convene in
For shareholders who do not attend the meeting, a "Listen to Annual Meeting" button will be available on the Investors section of PPL's website.
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