October 17, 2019

John Deere Votes on Conservative Transparency Proposal After Surrender to Leftist Groups

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

“John Deere Consistently Surrenders to the Left”

John Deere Shareholders Voted Today on Political Transparency Proposal Asking Company to Report to Shareholders When It Supports Groups that Do Not Share Its Stated Corporate Value of Being Pro-Free Enterprise

Proposal Comes as Deere Voted One of Fortune Magazine’s “Top 50 Admired Companies” – But Will Deere Still Be Admired If It Continues to Take Orders from Ultra-Left Anti-Free Enterprise Groups?

 

Moline, IL / Washington, D.C.  – At today’s annual meeting of John Deere shareholders in Moline, Illinois, National Center for Public Policy Research Free Enterprise Director Justin Danhof presented a shareholder proposal to increase political and public policy corporate transparency in light of activities by management that seem at odds with John Deere’s stated corporate values.

The proposal, available on page 67 of John Deere’s proxy statement, asks company management to report to shareholders when it undertakes political activities at odds with its report to shareholders that it supports public policy and political initiatives that have a “pro-business outlook and support… the free enterprise system.”

Danhof presented the proposal in person to management and shareholders today. The text of his presentation, as prepared for delivery, is here. The final results are not yet available.

“Today, we put John Deere executives on notice – when the company chooses to embrace leftist policies or takes anti-free-market actions, the National Center will not sit idly by,” said Danhof.

“Over the last decade, unions, left-wing activists and liberal asset managers have deluged corporate America with shareholder proposals requesting that corporations end support for conservatives and free-market organizations. Often his has been nothing but a well-funded left-wing effort to stifle free speech, yet, all too often, corporate America has surrendered to radical demands,” Danhof added.

“John Deere consistently surrenders to the left. From supporting cap-and-trade to rejecting continued membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council, Deere executives have given aid and comfort – not to mention shareholder money – to far-left causes,” said Danhof.

When presenting the National Center proposal to Deere shareholders, Danhof asked shareholders to stand up if they believe “John Deere is better off if corporate taxes are higher and government places more and more regulations upon what we are allowed sell and how we can manufacture.”

Despite being given time to stand and additional encouragement to stand if they support management’s current path by Danhof, not one shareholder stood.

“When I asked the Deere shareholders in attendance today if they supported higher corporate taxes and increased government regulations, the room was palpably silent,” Danhof said.

“Our proposal today was about much more than John Deere. Left-wing activists who oppose free speech and their corporate enablers should be worried. No longer will conservative and pro-free enterprise Americans sit by and watch the destruction of the American free-market system,” Danhof added.

“John Deere announced Monday that it was recognized as one of America’s ‘Top 50 Admired Companies,'” added Danhof. “John Deere has a truly enviable reputation as an all-American company. But can John Deere retain this reputation if it continues to work with far-left organizations against our free-enterprise system, and calls conservative groups ‘extremists’ — as its CEO, Samuel Allen, called the National Center for Public Policy Research to my face at in a meeting simply because we asked John Deere not to take orders from Color of Change and other far-left groups?”

“John Deere also is at risk of losing its reparation as a straight-shooting, honest company,” Danhof said. “When the National Center for Public Policy Research presented our shareholder proposal for inclusion in the proxy statement, Deere’s attorneys fought us at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We’ve fought dozens of companies before the SEC, but have never, ever had a battle there in which the company made so many flat-out dishonest arguments. We were, frankly, shocked. Management should put a stop to this sort of thing right away. Fighting is one thing; fighting dishonestly is something else entirely.”

The National Center for Public Policy Research nonetheless prevailed at the SEC. The entire written exchange between Deere’s attorneys and the National Center for Public Policy Research before the SEC, including the arguments made by Deere that the National Center for Public Policy Research believes were dishonest, is available on the SEC’s website.

More information about the National Center’s activities at John Deere is available in a press release we issued yesterday, February 23, and more information about our Free Enterprise Project is available here.

To speak with Justin Danhof or for more information, please contact Judy Kent at(703) 759-7476 or cell (703) 477-7476 or jkent@nationalcenter.org.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for free issue alerts here or follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter.

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Investors Asked to Vote Down Attacks on Free Enterprise

Leading Free Market Activist Group Advises Investors to Reject Upcoming Shareholder Resolutions Designed to Stifle Free Speech and Defund Market-Based Policy Solutions

Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Honeywell Investors Face Votes on Anti-Capitalist Measures

National Center for Public Policy Research Leading the Charge Against Extremist Attacks on the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)

As ALEC Works to Improve Business Environment and Expand American Jobs, Liberal Activists Spread Misinformation and Fear

Washington, DC – The National Center for Public Policy Research is advising investors to reject shareholder resolutions being presented by extremely liberal activists posing as good governance stewards at the respective upcoming annual shareholder meetings of Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Honeywell.

The annual meeting of Pfizer shareholders will take place April 23 in Short Hills, New Jersey at 8:30 AM.

The annual meeting of Johnson & Johnson shareholders will take place April 23 in New Brunswick, New Jersey at 10:30 AM.

The annual meeting of Honeywell shareholders will take place April 27 in Morris Township, New Jersey at 10:30 AM.

“Corporate America is under assault from a twisted web of coordinated, progressive activist groups that pose as good governance proponents,” said National Center Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof, Esq. “From NorthStar Asset Management, to As You Sow, to Ceres, to the SEIU, to the Center for Media & Democracy and many dozens more, liberal activist groups are seeking to use corporations as tools to advance far-left policies on issues such as health care and the environment. But more than anything, this movement is about ending one thing that many liberals simply abhor – free speech.”

At Thursday’s annual meeting of Johnson & Johnson shareholders, investors will vote on a proposal submitted by NorthStar Asset Management that ostensibly asks the company to align its corporate donations with its stated corporate values. However, the proposal is actually an attack on conservative politicians, free market positions and pro-business organizations. The proposal attacks Johnson & Johnson for past donations to politicians that supported free-market approaches to American energy policy and traditional marriage. It also attacks the company for its involvement with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“NorthStar gives away its true intentions in its proposal’s opening sentence, which complains about the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission by bemoaning the Court’s plain language interpretation of free speech,” said Danhof. “But speech – in this instance, monetary donations – that Johnson & Johnson has made to liberal politicians is conspicuously absent from the laundry list of activities that NorthStar’s proposal complains about. NorthStar’s proposal only complains about donations that advance conservative or free-market causes. And that is the heart of this entire movement – the left is all for free speech, unless it disagrees with that speech.”

NorthStar Asset Management’s proposal can be found on page 78 of Johnson & Johnson’s proxy statement.

Johnson & Johnson made itself vulnerable to this type of proposal when it bowed to leftist pressure in 2012 and caved to Color of Change after it pressured the company to stop working with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

“By acceding to the left’s demands to end a relationship with a well-respected, four-decade old organization of state legislators that promotes free market values and limited government, Johnson & Johnson put a target on its back. Once these extreme activists know a company will give an inch, they will come back for a mile,” said Danhof. “Johnson & Johnson’s investors can send a loud message Thursday by rejecting this latest liberal assault and perhaps steel the company’s spine against further attacks.”

Pfizer and Honeywell are under attack specifically for their continued involvement with ALEC.

“Liberal agitators have been running a coordinated effort to demonize ALEC for the better part of three-plus years. Pfizer and Honeywell investors have an opportunity to send a loud message that this movement has lost its steam. Built on a foundation of misinformation and outlandish racial attacks, liberals have been fomenting hatred for ALEC in an overt attempt to stifle free speech,” said Danhof. “Once investors know the truth about these trumped up attacks, I am confident they will reject these proposals and with it the entire anti-ALEC, anti-free speech movement.”

Pfizer investors will vote on a proposal submitted by the Christopher Reynolds Foundation that is a clear attempt to pressure the company to sever ties with ALEC. The proposal attacks work that ALEC did years ago concerning renewable energy standards and voter ID, claiming that such initiatives are “controversial.”

The left-wing Christopher Reynolds Foundation, established in 1952, is dedicated to the normalization of U.S. relations with Cuba, but it lends its invested assets in U.S. corporations to other left-wing activism projects, such as those attacking ExxonMobil on climate change ; Merck, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson for belonging to PhRMA; many corporations on executive compensation, Dominion, Southern, and Covanta on biomass energy, and more.

“The Christopher Reynolds Foundation has clearly been spending too much of its time helping the Castro brothers,” said Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research, “because it has gotten out of touch with the beliefs and interests of Americans here at home. It complains that Pfizer belongs to a pro-business group that supported voter ID years ago. Does the Christopher Reynolds Foundation not realize the American people support voter ID by 70-27%? That Democrats support it 55-43%? Black Americans 51-46? People with a college degree 64-33% and people without, 75-23%? I can well believe Fidel Castro disapproves of voter ID – he doesn’t even approve of voting – but the American people overwhelmingly do.”

“The Christopher Reynolds Foundation also complains in its proposal that ALEC has opposed ‘state-level Renewable Portfolio standards.’ These standards hurt the poor and disproportionally harm minorities by raising their energy prices ,” Ridenour added. “The Christopher Reynolds Foundation says it questions whether opposing regulations that raise energy costs on low-income Americans ‘is consistent with a commitment to integrity.’ Seriously – that’s its position. But we believe keeping energy costs as low as possible for low-income people is a good thing, and we suspect most investors do, too. So we call on Pfizer investors to vote DOWN the Christopher Reynolds Foundation proposal, which is Item #4 on the Pfizer proxy statement, and in so doing, vote UP the views and interests of the American people.”

Next Monday, Honeywell’s investors will face a similar proposal being moved by the City of Philadelphia Public Employees Retirement System and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Pension Benefit Fund. Their proposal is on page 90 of the Honeywell proxy statement.

“This proposal is nothing more than an attempt to use Honeywell as a tool to continue the left’s tired tripe that ALEC is some boogeyman to be feared,” said Danhof. “The proponents are part of an effort that is actively working to undermine America’s capitalistic roots and by extension Honeywell itself. As the Obama Administration continues to expand the regulatory state, ALEC’s market-based approaches to policy problems are needed now more than ever.”

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market activist group focusing on corporate activities. In 2014, Free Enterprise Project representatives participated in 52 shareholder meetings advancing free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers rights and many other important public policy issues.

The National Center has participated in eight shareholder meetings in 2015.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for free issue alerts here.

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NFL Disallows Superbowl Commercial From Gun Company

Yes, “True Believers”, we really do NOT live in a free country. What’s free about it? Sorry! You keep on following the herd. I’ll be quiet. I keep forgetting we need “reasonable” government control and censorship. Oh, wait! The NFL is a “private” enterprise and so they can do whatever they want and this kind of discrimination is okay, right?

The NFL has denied a television commercial for the Superbowl because: “5. Firearms, ammunition or other weapons are prohibited; however, stores that sell firearms and ammunitions (e.g., outdoor stores and camping stores) will be permitted, provided they sell other products and the ads do not mention firearms, ammunition or other weapons.”

Daniel Defense has a store that sells many outdoor items and guns. There was nothing in the ad with pictures or text or audio that mentioned any of those awful, scary things, with the exception of a logo with the picture of a gun on it. Even after offering to remove that picture and replace it the NFL said no.

<<<More information can be found here.>>>

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Free Markets Have No Place in Club of Rome Communism

Graeme Maxton writing for his brainwashed, ignorant, non thinking followers of communism/socialism on the Club of Rome’s website, essentially dedicates one paragraph to free market/free enterprise:

The free market is still the best way we know to allocate many resources. It ensures that goods and services are delivered to those that need them in the most efficient way, for the lowest possible price. Moreover, it strives to improve this process continuously, making the system ever leaner and driving prices ever lower. By making every penny go further, this makes us better off and so improves our standard of living. The free market is also exceptional in that it not only pushes down prices, it raises profits too. It serves everyone by stimulating growth, supporting investment and aiding human development. It is also astonishingly flexible, with the ability to respond to the changing needs of the market without falling apart. The system is fair too, or at least mostly fair. It rewards those who are efficient and competitive while stragglers are swiftly killed off.

The remainder of the article is spent explaining why the free market no longer has a use in the new world order of socialism/communism. For all the haters of humans, themselves excluded of course, this piece of propaganda clap-trap should be right up your alley. It is complete with how free markets destroy the planet, i.e. global warming, species extinction, forests being destroyed, all the fish caught, etc.

Take note that Maxton says there is nothing any better that exists for its purpose than a free market system and yet, he and his associates at the Club of Rome, no longer want that. It is a threat to them. It is a danger toward their ability to wield power over the masses, to control the food, control the products, control all manufacturing; in essence control all the resources but most of all, a free market society extols independence and that is the biggest threat to people like Maxton.

Destroy that independence and their jobs become so much easier.

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