June 27, 2017

Trump’s Paris Accord Pullout Applauded by Policy Experts

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Promise Kept to Protect Economy, Safeguard Jobs and Make America a Leader in Energy Production

National Center Provides Diverse Perspectives on Trump Action: Scientific, Regulatory, Business and from the African-American Community

Washington, DC – President Donald Trump’s decision to remove America from the Paris climate accord is being applauded by the National Center for Public Policy Research, a free-market think-tank which has – for over 25 years – actively opposed  anti-competitive regulations that damage the economy and deprive Americans of affordable energy.  National Center experts offering a wide array of perspectives on the issue are available to speak about how this action by the Trump Administration will benefit the nation.

“We applaud President Trump for having the courage to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord.  It was a bad deal for the U.S. worker, a bad deal for U.S. industry, a bad deal for the environment and a bad deal for our system of government,” said National Center President David Ridenour, an environmental expert who has attended past United Nations meetings on climate regulation.  “Despite requiring a wrenching transformation of our economy that would cost millions of jobs, it would accomplish next to nothing even if you buy into all the dubious science upon which it is premised.  Trump made the right choice for the economy, the environment and for constitutional government.”

Ridenour’s full statement is available here.

“In fulfilling his campaign promise to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, President Trump has struck a blow for millions of Americans whose livelihoods depend on having ready access to affordable and reliable energy,” said National Center Senior Fellow Bonner Cohen, Ph.D., an expert in regulatory and energy issues.  “By targeting our use of fossil fuels under the wholly specious claim of protecting the climate, the Paris accord was specifically designed to shackle the U.S. economy.  Elites here and abroad see our recent emergence as a global energy powerhouse as a threat to their ability to micromanage our lives through transnational agreements and regulations imposed by Washington bureaucrats.  With one mighty stroke, President Trump stood up for those who have had no voice for too long.”

Trump fixed an Obama error.  In honoring his commitment to cancel America’s participation in the Paris climate accord, Trump is helping save an estimated 6.5 million jobs and $3 trillion in our national economy,” said Stacy Washington, co-chairman of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network.  “The Paris climate accord is unfair and unworkable.  While America bears a severe financial burden, countries that pollute as a matter of course such as China are not required to reduce emissions until 2030.  This detail alone calls into question the benefit of agreeing to what amounts to the utter destruction of our coal industry.  Thank God President Trump said no.”

Earlier this week, Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper criticized the Paris climate accord earlier this week on the RT network’s “The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann.”   Cooper noted: “The very same studies that were claiming alarmist predictions say that the Paris treaty doesn’t make that much of a difference, and that those same alarmist outcomes are going to occur.”

“President Trump’s decision to exit the Paris climate accord is a victory for the free market and a defeat for rent-seeking corporations,” noted Justin Danhof, Esq., the National Center’s general counsel and director of its Free Enterprise Project  (FEP).  “Many corporate leaders became accustomed to the Obama leadership style of selecting winners and losers.  In the energy market, Obama rewarded certain green energy providers and users with lavish taxpayer subsidies.  It proved detrimental to the American people, especially low-income Americans paying more of their incomes for energy. Appeals by corporate leaders from companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook and Salesforce to remain in the accord were likely in hopes of keeping this taxpayer-funded gravy train rolling.  President Trump showed real leadership, signaling that the corporate welfare state that flourished during the past eight years may be a thing of the past.”

FEP has challenged corporate leaders at companies such as Apple, Google (now Alphabet Inc.) and Exelon at shareholder meetings about the sustainability of their support for risky regulatory regimes and alternative energy schemes.

 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 60,000 active recent contributors.  Sign up for email updates here .  Follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter for general announcements.  To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.

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Amazon Grilled About Anti-Trump Immigration Position as Shareholder Meeting Gets Political

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

*Editor’s Note* – For those with understanding, it is easy to see the theater going on here.

Free Enterprise Project Warns Amazon Executives That Overtly Political Stances May Harm Tech Giant’s Reputation with Trump Supporters

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Owner of the Decidedly Anti-Trump Washington Post, Ducks Question with Claim That Company Does Not Take Political Positions

Seattle, WA / Washington, DC – Today’s annual meeting of Amazon.com investors turned political as a representative of the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project  (FEP) questioned CEO Jeff Bezos over the company’s strong opposition to President Trump’s executive orders on immigration and travel.

 “As an investor advocate, our message is quite simple: taking overtly political positions on contentious, evenly-divided issues is a major risk for publicly-traded companies,” said National Center General Counsel and FEP Director Justin Danhof, Esq., who attended today’s meeting in Seattle and personally questioned Bezos.  “Amazon executives made a clear choice to oppose one of President Trump’s top political priorities, and they need to realize such actions are viewed by Trump supporters through a political prism.  If Amazon is considered anti-Trump, it will almost certainly harm the company’s long-term investors.”

At the meeting, Danhof stated:

Amazon publicly opposed President Trump’s first executive order on immigration.  The New York Post reported Amazon took “a victory lap for its role in halting Trump’s travel ban” after that initial order was halted by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  The company also signed a legal brief opposing Trump’s second executive order on immigration and travel.

Amazon risks reputational harm and consumer backlash for this stance.  Polling indicates nearly half of registered voters support Trump’s actions on immigration.  After Starbucks similarly came out against Trump’s proposed travel restrictions, Business Insider reported that “Starbucks’ brand ha[d] taken a beating.”

Danhof continued:

And Trump’s ban is not the first of its kind.  In 2011, after discovering two al-Qaeda members with links to Iraq operating in Kentucky, ABC News reported “the State Department stopped processing Iraq refugees for six months. . . even for many who had heroically helped U.S. forces as interpreters and intelligence assets.”  One Iraqi refugee who aided U.S. troops was assassinated while banned from entry by former President Barack Obama and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. . . it doesn’t appear Amazon said or did anything regarding the Obama-Clinton travel ban.

These examples raise a few quick questions.  First of all, Mr. Bezos, do you see any potential downside for Amazon related to the company’s opposition to the President, or from the Washington Post‘s anti-Trump bias?  Current and potential Amazon customers undoubtedly include Trump fans.  Are you concerned they may reject Amazon as they see the company opposes a President and policies they support?  And why were you willing to risk Amazon’s reputation by attacking President Trump’s executive order when it seems you lacked the courage to speak out against the Obama-Clinton travel ban?

 Danhof’s full question at today’s Amazon meeting, as prepared for delivery, is available here.

“In response to our question, Bezos essentially claimed Amazon does not take political positions; it instead takes policy positions.  While this may be the company’s aim, it is often a distinction without a difference.  Regardless of Amazon’s intentions, the company is rightfully viewed as taking a political position against President Trump’s immigration reform efforts,” Danhof said.  “If Amazon was truly just taking a principled policy position, it would have also opposed the 2011 Obama-Clinton travel ban we highlighted in the question we presented at the shareholder meeting.  But Bezos ducked that part of the question.  Interestingly, former Obama spokesman Jay Carney – who is now a senior vice president with Amazon – turned around from his front-row seat when I mentioned the Obama-Clinton travel ban.  It clearly got his attention.”

“I get the impression Bezos understands the risk Amazon faces in becoming overtly political,” added Danhof.  “He chose to answer our question diplomatically rather than double-down on any anti-Trump rhetoric.  He may realize that the company’s actions – and his own – have placed Amazon in a liberal-leaning light.  In the long-term, that would be bad for investors.”

This was the second time this year that a National Center representative asked a question of this nature at a company’s shareholder meeting.  Earlier this year, also in Seattle, Danhof questioned outgoing Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz about that company’s opposition to Trump’s travel ban.  Danhof’s confrontation with Schultz garnered significant national media attention, with stories appearing in the Bezos-owned Washington Post, Business Insider, CNN and The Hill among many others.

Launched in 2007, the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market activist group – focusing on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business.  Since 2014, National Center representatives have participated in nearly 100 shareholder meetings to advance 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.  This is the sixteenth shareholder meeting the FEP has attended in 2017.

The National Centers Free Enterprise Project activism has yielded a tremendous return on investment:

  • FEPs highly-publicized questioning of support for the Clinton Foundation by Boeing and General Electric helped trigger an FBI investigation of the Clinton Foundations activities that dominated the 2016 presidential campaign.  
  • FEP inquiries prompted Facebook to address political bias against conservatives in social media.
  •  Company executives acknowledged media bias at ABC News (Disney), the Washington Post and CNN (Time Warner) in response to FEPs challenges, which helped to bring about more objective reporting and more balanced political representation.
  • FEPs Employee Conscience Protection Project strengthened protections for the political beliefs and activities of over five million workers at 13 major U.S. corporations.
 So far in 2017, the FEP has been featured in media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Variety, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Breitbart, WorldNetDaily, Drudge Report, Business Insider, CNET, National Public Radio, American Family Radio and SiriusXM. In 2016, the FEP was also featured in the Washington Times, the Fox News Channel’s “Cavuto,” the Financial Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, the Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Newsmax, the Daily Caller, Lifezette, the Seattle Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribuneamong many others.  The Free Enterprise Project was also featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassels 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech (Hachette Book Group).

 

 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 60,000 active recent contributors.  Sign up for email updates here.  Follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter for general announcements.  To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.

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Ford’s Funding of “Fake News” Through Ad Revenue Raises Questions

*Editor’s Question* – When Obama was in the White House and Fox News spent every waking minute being “hostile” toward the man, was Fox News also “Fake News?” Isn’t this just getting a bit carried away?

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Shareholder Activists Want to Ask Ford Motor Company Executives About Potential Backlash for Advertising on News Programs Hostile to Trump Administration

Will Automaker Use Virtual Format to Avoid Answering Tough Investor Inquiries?

Washington, DC – On Thursday, the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project  (FEP) – the nation’s leading proponent of free-market investor activism – will seek to ask Ford Motor Company executives if they believe there is a reputational risk and potential consumer backlash from advertising on television news programs hostile to the Trump Administration.  FEP representatives are hoping for the opportunity to pose this tough question during Ford’s first online shareholder meeting – a departure from traditional in-person meetings.

“Ford executives will be tested to see if they are willing to tackle hard questions at a virtual shareholder meeting where they control access,” said National Center Vice President David W. Almasi.  “When liberal politicians wanted to avoid angry constituents during the Tea Party movement, they held virtual meetings to avoid uncomfortable interaction.  We are hoping Ford executives will not employ the same strategy.  Annual meetings are the one time a year when shareholders can question corporate leadership.  To restrict that opportunity would be a disservice to the investment community.”

The Ford shareholder meeting will be held on May 11 at 8:30AM eastern in an audio-only format accessible through the Ford website.

During the meeting’s question and answer session, FEP hopes to ask if Ford executives think that advertising on news programs hostile to the Trump Administration could harm the Ford brand by exposing it to “reputational risk” now that “fake news” and leaked emails showing collusion between liberal political operatives and members of the media have caused public trust in the media to plunge.

“We filed a shareholder resolution asking Ford to detail the risk to its reputation of doing business with media outlets that were exposed by WikiLeaks as working closely with the political class to promote specific political and policy agendas.  Rather than being transparent about such risks, the company petitioned the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission seeking approval to exclude our proposal, arguing that this was an issue in which shareholders shouldn’t have a say.  The SEC ultimately agreed with Ford, but we are still seeking answers,” said National Center General Counsel and FEP Director Justin Danhof, Esq., who is set to represent FEP at the meeting.  “Now, many of those same news outlets that we expressed concern about in our proposal are seemingly at war with the White House.  President Trump has called much of the mainstream media an enemy of the American people and has accused specific media outlets of peddling fake news.  The risks to Ford’s reputation of continuing to advertise with such outlets appear to be increasing, not diminishing.”

This is the third time FEP will participate in a Ford shareholder meeting.  In 2011, FEP asked Ford to reassess its membership in the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) – a fringe political group pushing regulations that FEP noted might negatively impact Ford and its consumers. Ford left USCAP  in 2012.  In 2014, a FEP representative asked the automaker to educate the public about how government regulations increase the cost of producing a vehicle and to consider listing regulatory impact on sales stickers of new Ford cars and trucks.

 Launched in 2007, the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market activist group – focusing on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business.  Since 2014, National Center representatives have participated in nearly 100 shareholder meetings to advance 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.  This is the fourteenth shareholder meeting the FEP has attended in 2017.

The National Centers Free Enterprise Project activism has yielded a tremendous return on investment:

  • FEPs highly-publicized questioning of support for the Clinton Foundation by Boeing and General Electric helped trigger an FBI investigation of the Clinton Foundations activities that dominated the 2016 presidential campaign.  
  • FEP inquiries prompted Facebook to address political bias against conservatives in social media.
  •  Company executives acknowledged media bias at ABC News (Disney), the Washington Post and CNN (Time Warner) in response to FEPs challenges, which helped to bring about more objective reporting and more balanced political representation.
  • FEPs Employee Conscience Protection Project strengthened protections for the political beliefs and activities of over five million workers at 13 major U.S. corporations.
So far in 2017, the FEP has been featured in media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Variety, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Breitbart, WorldNetDaily, Drudge Report, Business Insider, CNET, National Public Radio, American Family Radio and SiriusXM. In 2016, the FEP was also featured in the Washington Times, the Fox News Channel’s “Cavuto,” the Financial Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, the Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Newsmax, the Daily Caller, Lifezette, the Seattle Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribuneamong many others.  The Free Enterprise Project was also featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassels 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech (Hachette Book Group).

 

 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 60,000 active recent contributors.  Sign up for email updates here.  Follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter for general announcements.  To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.

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Suspended Black Conservative Columnist Speaks Out About Why She Quit St. Louis Post-Dispatch

*Editor’s Note* – Earlier today I posted President Donald Trump’s FAKE Executive Order  that he presented as “policy” of his administration to protect the right of free speech and freedom of religion. In my editorial note included with that post, I wrote of how there was no such thing as freedom of speech and that the Executive Order of Trump’s was nothing more that a further guarantee of the Government’s authority to control every aspect of your life.

The erosion of freedom of speech is further substantiated in the information contained in the press release that follows of one person being “suspended” from a news media company after writing an article about the Second Amendment.

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

“It’s Never Been a Secret That I Support the Second Amendment and the National Rifle Association”

St. Louis, MO / Washington, DC – Project 21 Co-Chairman Stacy Washington , a black conservative, was recently suspended by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after writing a column defending gun ownership.  She is now speaking out and available for interviews about the allegations made against her by the newspaper’s management and her decision to end writing for the Post-Dispatch altogether.

Washington was recently selected to help guide Project 21, a leadership network promoting the diversity of political opinion within the black community in America, as one of its co-chairmen.

A freelance contributor who began writing a column for the Post-Dispatch last November, Washington was suspended by the newspaper on April 28 after writing a column on guns that her editor complained did not mention her past affiliation with the National Rifle Association (NRA).  While she has worked with the NRA on media programs and projects in the past, she says she was never paid for her services and the opinions in the column were her own.

Washington’s support of gun ownership has never been a secret.  In her first column for the newspaper, she wrote: “With my father on active [military] duty, guns were always a part of life, so I considered the Second Amendment second in importance only to the religious protections afforded to us in the Constitution.” Before becoming a columnist, the Post-Dispatch reported on her work with the NRA. She also said the column in question –  “Guns and the Media” – was reviewed by the newspaper’s staff before publication.  That column criticized other Missouri newspapers that recently featured commentaries speculating that gun owners favored guns over child safety and asked readers to compare the NRA to the ISIS terrorism network.  In her column, she wrote: “Gun ownership in America is a right that is enshrined in the Constitution, and owning a gun has no bearing on whether people love their children.”

 Commenting on leaving the Post-Dispatch, Washington said:

It’s never been a secret that I support the Second Amendment and the National Rifle Association. To effectively be suspended by a newspaper for that seems beyond comprehension. But that’s what I believe happened to me.

Last week, my final column for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch – “Guns and the Media” – discussed two anti-gun opinion columns in other Missouri papers. I think these commentaries were allowed to falsely accuse gun owners of prioritizing guns over child safety and tried to make the NRA and ISIS morally equivalent. I suggested such radical allegations were allowed to be published without challenge due to an editorial bias against guns.

Like all of my columns published by the newspaper, it was submitted, accepted, edited and approved by the staff of the Post-Dispatch. As a freelance writer, I was unable to post my work directly to their website. So I was obviously surprised when I was notified of a suspension that readers were told was due to my “ active promotional activities and professional association with the National Rifle Association, [which] represented an unacceptable conflict of interest.”

 I am not, nor have I ever been, an employee of the NRA. I was not compensated for my participation in an NRA documentary that was released last year nor was I paid for any appearances on NRA-affiliated media over the years. Some of this work was even previously reported on by the Post-Dispatch. There was never any attempt at deception.

 After much consideration, I have decided to terminate my relationship with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. When I began writing for the paper, it was with the belief that I would be able to present my opinions from a conservative perspective without interference. This has not been the case, and it makes any future relationship with the newspaper untenable.

 I stand by what I wrote, and it represents me and no other person or organization. I believe that, even in a commentary, it is irresponsible and proves an inherent bias when newspapers permit the comparison of NRA members to Islamic State terrorists and imply that gun-owning Americans cherish their firearms more than the safety of their children.

 To book an interview with Stacy Washington, contact Judy Kent at (703) 759-7476.

Project 21 members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Project 21 is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.

Founded in 1982, the National Center for Public Policy Research is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from some 60,000 individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. Sign up for email updates here. Follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter for general announcements. To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.

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Harley-Davidson CEO Lauds Trump Relationship: Company Will “Continue to Engage” White House on Policy

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

100 Days into Trump Presidency, Free Enterprise Project Urges Motorcycle Giant to Remain Politically Involved, Defend Economic Agenda Against Leftist Attacks

  Milwaukee, WI / Washington, DC – At today’s annual meeting of Harley-Davidson shareholders, the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project(FEP) – the nation’s leading proponent of free-market investor activism – thanked company executives for working with the Trump Administration to reverse an economic downturn exacerbated by Obama-era policies and regulations. Harley CEO Matt Levatich said the iconic American manufacturer will “continue to be involved” with the White House to benefit its customers and the “American qualities” for which the brand is renowned.

“It’s fitting that Harley-Davidson’s shareholder meeting falls on the 100th day of Donald Trump’s presidency. As pundits analyze this new presidency, the early February meeting between Trump and Harley executives should be considered among its high points, because it showed corporate America willing to work with our President to fix our economy, create jobs and bring wealth back to our communities,” said National Center Vice President David W. Almasi, a Harley-Davidson shareholder who represented FEP at the meeting. “Executives nationwide are under intense pressure from liberals to shun the Trump Administration. Uber’s CEO caved to political pressure when he resigned from the President’s economic advisory council, and executives at Disney, Pepsi and other companies are under fire to do the same. To their credit, Harley-Davidson executives are not flinching.”

In making FEP’s case to Harley-Davidson CEO Matthew Levatich, Almasi said:

Our last president did not act in the best interest of American business. Back then, corporate leaders supported, promoted and even helped implement bad initiatives they knew were wrong just so they could say they still had a seat at the table of power. But there was little to no return on the investment for their complicity with failed policies such as ObamaCare. America has suffered as a result.

The stark change in the political climate on Capitol Hill and in the White House now provides Harley-Davidson and other companies with a unique opportunity to work with the government to roll back the mistakes of past rulemaking and pursue innovative new paths to create jobs and increase wealth. We are glad to see Harley-Davidson is rolling toward that opportunity rather than away from it like Uber and Starbucks.

Almasi’s complete prepared statement is available here:

Levatich said the company is always “pleased to have the opportunity to share” how government policies “affect our business.” In discussing the recent White House meeting, he said he was impressed by how members of the Trump Administration “leaned in, listened respectfully and cared what Harley-Davidson had to say. . . And you can’t ask for anything more than that.”

Almasi, however, pressed Levatich to make sure Harley is “willing to defend itself and the policies it supports from the inevitable backlash” that will come from left-wing politicians and radical activists.

“One of the policy priorities Levatich and the Harley team brought to Trump in February was the need to ease the corporate tax rate. When Trump’s tax overhaul plan was unveiled this week, Harley’s suggestion was a key component. Starbucks and Uber – companies that appear unwilling to work with Trump – may benefit from this policy change, but it is Harley’s courage that helped drive the effort to bring necessary relief to struggling American businesses,” Almasi added. “But, as it did with ObamaCare replacement efforts, the left is going do everything it can to kill tax reform. Businesses like Harley-Davidson need to remain active in the process to ensure opponents of reform – who are numerous and well-funded – don’t derail the policies needed to put America back on the path to prosperity.”

This was the third Harley-Davidson shareholder meeting in which FEP has participated. In 2013, Almasi questioned then-CEO Keith Wandell about how the company might deal with anticipated challenges from the Obama Administration’s Consumer Protection Financial Bureau regarding minority lending quotas. In 2014, National Center General Counsel and FEP Director Justin Danhof, Esq. suggested to Wandell that unionized Harley-Davidson employees should be allowed to recertify their membership with the union on a regular basis.

Launched in 2007, the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market activist group – focusing on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. Since 2014, National Center representatives have participated in nearly 100 shareholder meetings to advance 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 Harley-Davidson meeting marks FEP’s ninth shareholder meeting attended so far in 2017 .  

The National Centers Free Enterprise Project activism has yielded a tremendous return on investment:
  • FEPs highly-publicized questioning of support for the Clinton Foundation by Boeing and General Electric helped trigger an FBI investigation of the Clinton Foundations activities that dominated the 2016 presidential campaign.  
  • FEP inquiries prompted Facebook to address political bias against conservatives in social media.
  •  Company executives acknowledged media bias at ABC News (Disney), the Washington Post and CNN (Time Warner) in response to FEPs challenges, which helped to bring about more objective reporting and more balanced political representation.
  • FEPs Employee Conscience Protection Project strengthened protections for the political beliefs and activities of over five million workers at 13 major U.S. corporations.
So far in 2017, the FEP has been featured in media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Variety, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Breitbart, WorldNetDaily, Drudge Report, Business Insider, CNET, National Public Radio, American Family Radio and SiriusXM. In 2016, the FEP was also featured in the Washington Times, the Fox News Channel’s “Cavuto,” the Financial Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, the Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Newsmax, the Daily Caller, Lifezette, the Seattle Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribuneamong many others.  The Free Enterprise Project was also featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassels 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech (Hachette Book Group).


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 60,000 active recent contributors.  Sign up for email updates here.  Follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter for general announcements.  To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.

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General Electric Chooses Secrecy over Transparency

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

GE Opposes Proposal Seeking Clarity on Its Controversial Charitable Contributions

Free Enterprise Project Resolution Criticizes GE Donations to Clinton Foundation, Planned Parenthood and Center for American Progress

Asheville, NC / Washington, DC   At today’s annual meeting of General Electric (GE) investors held in Asheville, North Carolina, the National Center for Public Policy Research presented a shareholder resolution calling on the industrial giant to explain its rationale for donating shareholder money to controversial groups such as Planned Parenthood and the Clinton Foundation.

“Apparently General Electric executives have no explanation for why the company donates its shareholders’ money to controversial charitable organizations. If the company had strong reasons for such donations, and those reasons outweighed the risks of being associated with such shady groups, then the company would have welcomed our resolution and provided a cogent response,” said National Center General Counsel and Free Enterprise Project (FEP) Director Justin Danhof, Esq., who attended today’s meeting and presented FEP’s proposal. “Why would pro-life investors entrust their funds to a company that then turns around and donates to Planned Parenthood? The obvious answer is that they wouldn’t, and that’s likely why GE refused to properly answer our proposal.”

At the meeting, Danhof stated:

[T]he company provided funds to Planned Parenthood. Already the recipient of $500 million taxpayers’ dollars annually, the nation’s largest abortion provider has come under investigation for the sale of fetal tissue. In response, many states and corporations distanced themselves from Planned Parenthood.

The company also donated to the Center for American Progress (CAP).  CAP is an extreme political group accused of anti-Semitism.  Additionally, in 2010, under the direction of John Podesta – who later became chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign – CAP wrote the blueprint for the Obama Administration’s expansion of executive power.  Now, with President Donald Trump in office, GE lodged complaints about the very same use of executive power effectively designed and, by implication, endorsed through the company’s funding of CAP.

The company also donated to the Clinton Foundation, which is reportedly under FBI investigation.  Media reports strongly imply parts of the Clinton Foundation operated as a pay-for-play scheme whereby individuals and corporations may have sought preferential treatment from government actors in exchange for donations to the Foundation.  Such speculation is further fueled by the closing of some of the Clinton Foundation’s operations following Mrs. Clinton’s unsuccessful White House bid.  GE support of the Clinton Foundation has been the subject of such scrutiny and speculation.

Danhof’s full statement, as prepared for delivery, is available here.  The audio of Danhof’s statement during the meeting can be heard here.  The full text of FEP’s proposal and GE’s response to it are available here.  At press time, the final official vote on the proposal was not available.

Investors have a right to expect that GE is using their money to advance initiatives that raise shareholder value. It is hard to see how donating to extremist groups such as the Center for American Progress (CAP) fulfills GE’s legal fiduciary duty to its stockholders,” added Danhof. “We gave GE an opportunity to explain how how donating shareholder money to Planned Parenthood, CAP and the Clinton Foundation somehow fulfills the company’s obligation to its investors, and it balked. Conservative and pro-life investors have a right to know why the company is in league with such detestable groups. And until such a time as GE answers those questions, investors may want to look elsewhere.”

This isn’t the first time FEP has asked GE for transparency regarding its relationship with the Clinton Foundation.

In 2015, out of concern that the company’s donations to the Clinton Foundation – which coincided closely with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s efforts to help secure a foreign contract for GE – may have subjected the company to liability for honest services fraud, the National Center sought an explanation from GE CEO Jeff Immelt regarding those contributions.  Immelt refused FEP’s request for transparency.  That story was widely covered in the national press, including numerous segments on theFox News Channel.

The National Center’s FEP brought similar shareholder proposals before shareholders atApple earlier this year as well as Coca-Cola, John Deere and McDonalds in 2016. It also raised corporate funding and affiliation issues with executives of Aetna, Honeywell, Pfizer and UPS in 2015 and 2016. This is also not the first time the FEP has submitted a shareholder proposal to GE. In 2014, in response to a FEP proposal, GE proactively changed its corporate policy to protect employees from workplace retribution for private political activities. FEP representatives have been attending GE shareholder meetings since 2009.

Launched in 2007, the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market activist group – focusing on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. Since 2014, National Center representatives have participated in nearly 100 shareholder meetings to advance 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.   Earlier today, while Danhof was at the General Electric meeting, National Center Vice President David W. Almasi participated in Coca-Cola’s shareholder meeting.

The National Centers Free Enterprise Project activism has yielded a tremendous return on investment:

  • FEPs highly-publicized questioning of support for the Clinton Foundation by Boeing and General Electric helped trigger an FBI investigation of the Clinton Foundations activities that dominated the 2016 presidential campaign.  
  • FEP inquiries prompted Facebook to address political bias against conservatives in social media.
  •  Company executives acknowledged media bias at ABC News (Disney), the Washington Post and CNN (Time Warner) in response to FEPs challenges, which helped to bring about more objective reporting and more balanced political representation.
  • FEPs Employee Conscience Protection Project strengthened protections for the political beliefs and activities of over five million workers at 13 major U.S. corporations.
So far in 2017, the FEP has been featured in media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Variety, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Breitbart, WorldNetDaily, Drudge Report, Business Insider, CNET, National Public Radio, American Family Radio and SiriusXM. In 2016, the FEP was also featured in the Washington Times, the Fox News Channel’s “Cavuto,” the Financial Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, the Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Newsmax, the Daily Caller, Lifezette, the Seattle Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribuneamong many others.  The Free Enterprise Project was also featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassels 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech (Hachette Book Group).


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 email updates here.  Follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter for general announcements.  To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.

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General Electric Use of Investors’ Money to Fund Extremist Charities Under Scrutiny

Free Enterprise Project Seeks Support for Shareholder Proposal That Probes GE Donations to Clinton Foundation, Planned Parenthood and Center for American Progress

Why Should Shareholder Money Be Spent Funding Abortion Providers and Ethically Challenged Political Groups?

Asheville, NC / Washington, DC  The National Center for Public Policy Research, the nation’s leading proponent of free-market investor activism, is seeking support from General Electric’s investors for its resolution calling on the industrial giant to explain its rationale for donating shareholder money to controversial groups such as Planned Parenthood and the Clinton Foundation.  The proposal, submitted and sponsored by the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP), highlights instances in which GE’s charitable contributions may be doing more harm than good by damaging the company’s reputation.

GE’s shareholder meeting will be being held on Wednesday, April 26 at the GE Aviation facility in Asheville, North Carolina.  This will be the ninth time a National Center representative has attended a GE shareholder meeting and the seventh corporate shareholder meeting that FEP has participated in so far in 2017.

“Why would GE donate to highly partisan organizations in this highly politicized environment?  And why would GE risk alienating conservative, free-market and pro-life investors and customers by donating to some of the most extreme liberal organizations in America?  Those are just some of the answers we are seeking with our proposal,” said National Center General Counsel and FEP Director Justin Danhof, Esq., who is set to represent the FEP at the meeting.  “Pro-life investors shouldn’t have their shareholder money going to fund Planned Parenthood just as conservative investors shouldn’t be forced to subsidize the Center for American Progress or Planned Parenthood.  If GE makes an honest assessment of our proposal, the company will be forced to explain why it thinks the risk of alienating those investors is somehow outweighed by the benefit of its controversial donations.”

Out of concern that the company’s donations to the Clinton Foundation – which coincided closely with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s efforts to help secure a foreign contract for GE – may have subjected the company to liability for honest services fraud, the National Center previously sought an explanation from GE CEO Jeff Immelt regarding those contributions.  Immelt refused FEP’s request for transparency. That story waswidely covered in the national press, including numerous segments on the Fox News Channel.

The National Center’s proposal asks General Electric to “provide an annual report. . . disclosing: the company’s standards for choosing recipients of company assets in the form of charitable contributions; the business rationale and purpose for each of the charitable contributions, if any; personnel participating in the decision to contribute; the benefits to society at-large produced by company contributions; and a follow-up report confirming the contribution was used for the purpose stated.”

The full text of the National Center’s proposal, and GE’s response to it, are availablehere.  The National Center’s prepared statement in favor of the proposal is availablehere.  Comments from the FEP after the meeting will be available here within hours of the conclusion of the meeting.

The FEP brought similar shareholder proposals before shareholders at Apple earlier this year as well as Coca-Cola, John Deere and McDonalds in 2016.  It also raised corporate funding and affiliation issues with executives of Aetna, Honeywell, Pfizer and UPS in 2015 and 2016.  This is also not the first time the FEP has submitted a shareholder proposal to GE.  In 2014, in response to an FEP proposal, GE proactively changed its corporate policyto protect employees from workplace retribution for private political activities.  The FEP has been attending GE shareholder meetings since 2009.

Launched in 2007, the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market activist group – focusing on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. Since 2014, National Center representatives have participated in nearly 100 shareholder meetings to advance 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.  On April 26, while Danhof is at the General Electric meeting, National Center Vice President David W. Almasi will be participating in Coca-Cola’s shareholder meeting.

 The National Centers Free Enterprise Project activism has yielded a tremendous return on investment:

  • FEPs highly-publicized questioning of support for the Clinton Foundation by Boeing and General Electric helped trigger an FBI investigation of the Clinton Foundations activities that dominated the 2016 presidential campaign.  
  • FEP inquiries prompted Facebook to address political bias against conservatives in social media.
  •  Company executives acknowledged media bias at ABC News (Disney), the Washington Post and CNN (Time Warner) in response to FEPs challenges, which helped to bring about more objective reporting and more balanced political representation.
  • FEPs Employee Conscience Protection Project strengthened protections for the political beliefs and activities of over five million workers at 13 major U.S. corporations.
So far in 2017, the FEP has been featured in media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Variety, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Breitbart, WorldNetDaily, Drudge Report, Business Insider, CNET, National Public Radio, American Family Radio and SiriusXM. In 2016, the FEP was also featured in the Washington Times, the Fox News Channel’s “Cavuto,” the Financial Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, the Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Newsmax, the Daily Caller, Lifezette, the Seattle Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribuneamong many others.  The Free Enterprise Project was also featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassels 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech (Hachette Book Group).

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 email updates here.  Follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter for general announcements.  To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at@NCPPRMedia.

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Coca-Cola’s Human Rights Hypocrisy

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Coca-Cola’s Human Rights Hypocrisy: Why Does Soda Leader Criticize American Religious Freedom Laws While Doing Business in Nations Lacking Basic Civil Liberties?

All Coca-Cola Investors Urged to Vote for Free Enterprise Project’s Shareholder Proposal That Calls out Coke’s Human Rights Duplicity

Soft Drink Leader’s Allegiance with Fringe Anti-Religious Group Called into Question

Atlanta, GA / Washington, DC –  The National Center for Public Policy Research, the nation’s leading proponent of free-market investor activis, is calling on all Coca-Cola investors to approve its shareholder resolution that exposes Coca-Cola’s hypocritical treatment of civil liberties.  The proposal, submitted by the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP), questions why the soft drink giant opposes religious liberty in the United States on alleged civil rights pretenses while simultaneously maintaining operations in numerous nations lacking those same rights.

Coca-Cola’s shareholder meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Georgia. This will be the sixth time a National Center representative has attended a Coca-Cola shareholder meeting, and the sixth corporate shareholder meeting that the FEP has participated in so far in 2017.

“Coca-Cola’s attacks on Americans of faith have gone under the radar for far too long,” said National Center Vice President David W. Almasi, who is set to represent the FEP at the meeting and has participated in past Coca-Cola shareholder meetings.  “Coca-Cola operates in countries where governments consider homosexuality a crime.  Yet they allied with a radical pressure group, Georgia Prospers, to stop the Peach State’s religious freedom bill they falsely claimed persecuted homosexuals.  It’s inconsistent, and their error in judgement here is compounded by apparent silence abroad. We are simply asking Coca-Cola to justify their actions.” 

The National Center’s proposal “requests the board of directors review the company’s guidelines for selecting countries/regions for its operations and issue a report. . .  [to] identify Coca-Cola’s criteria for investing in, operating in and withdrawing from high-risk regions.” It is the only proposal for consideration by shareholders not being offered by Coca-Cola itself.

The full text of the National Center’s proposal, and Coca-Cola’s response to it, are available on page 81 of the company’s proxy statement, which is available for downloadhere.  The text of its prepared statement in favor of the proposal can be found here.  Comments from the FEP after the meeting will be also be available on the site herewithin hours of the conclusion of the meeting.

The National Center’s FEP brought similar shareholder proposals before shareholders atApple, Eli Lilly, General Electric and Wal-Mart in 2016.  It also raised religious freedom issues with executives of Home Depot, Nike, PepsiCo and Red Hat. This is also not the first time the FEP promoted a shareholder proposal at a Coca-Cola meeting.  In 2016, the FEP asked Coca-Cola shareholders to consider a proposal for the company to issue a congruency analysis to point out and justify potentially questionable affiliations and contributions on the part of the company.  The FEP has been attending Coca-Cola shareholder meetings since 2012.

“By opposing Georgia’s religious freedom legislation, Coca-Cola opposed the kind of protections inherent in our nation’s founding principles and later advocated by the likes of Ted Kennedy.  Yet the company does business in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and other places where homosexuality is discriminated against to the extent it is punishable by death,” added Almasi.  “This disconnect in policy cannot be overlooked.  The Free Enterprise Project, as an advocate for the company’s shareholders, is asking company executives to justify their decisions.”

 “If Coca-Cola wants to go after religious Americans, it’s no longer going to do so with impunity,” said National Center General Counsel and FEP Director Justin Danhof, Esq.  “Either the company is opposed to religious freedom everywhere or it only opposes religious freedom here in the United States as a means to score political points with the anti-religious left. If the company were to honestly answer our proposal, all Coca-Cola investors would know if the company was truly anti-religious or simply hypocritical for political reasons.  Those are the only two potential explanations for the company’s actions.”

Launched in 2007, the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market activist group – focusing on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. Since 2014, National Center representatives have participated in nearly 100 shareholder meetings to advance 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 Coca-Cola meeting marks FEP’s sixth shareholder meeting attended so far in 2017.   On April 26, while Almasi is at the Coca-Cola meeting, Danhof will be participating in General Electric’s shareholder meeting.

The National Centers Free Enterprise Project activism has yielded a tremendous return on investment:
  • FEPs highly-publicized questioning of support for the Clinton Foundation by Boeing and General Electric helped trigger an FBI investigation of the Clinton Foundations activities that dominated the 2016 presidential campaign.  
  • FEP inquiries prompted Facebook to address political bias against conservatives in social media.
  •  Company executives acknowledged media bias at ABC News (Disney), the Washington Post and CNN (Time Warner) in response to FEPs challenges, which helped to bring about more objective reporting and more balanced political representation.
  • FEPs Employee Conscience Protection Project strengthened protections for the political beliefs and activities of over five million workers at 13 major U.S. corporations.
So far in 2017, the FEP has been featured in media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Variety, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Breitbart, WorldNetDaily, Drudge Report, Business Insider, CNET, National Public Radio, American Family Radio and SiriusXM. In 2016, the FEP was also featured in the Washington Times, the Fox News Channel’s “Cavuto,” the Financial Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, the Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Newsmax, the Daily Caller, Lifezette, the Seattle Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribuneamong many others.  The Free Enterprise Project was also featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassels 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech (Hachette Book Group).

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 email updates here.  Follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter for general announcements.  To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at@NCPPRMedia.

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Free-Market Activists Plan to Question Humana Executives About Willingness to Work with Trump, Congress on Health Care Reform

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Humana’s Steadfast Support of ObamaCare Could Lose Company a Seat at the Table in Setting New Health Care Agenda

After Working with Liberal Politicians to Advance Obama-Era Failed Health Care Policies, Humana Owes it to American People to Work with Trump Team and Congressional Conservatives

Louisville, KY / Washington, DC – At this week’s annual meeting of Humana shareholders, the nation’s leading proponent of free-market investor activism plans to offer the insurer’s executives an opportunity to repudiate its long-standing support for failed ObamaCare policies and embrace market-based alternatives advanced by the White House and some members of Congress.

Humana’s shareholder meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 20, 2017, at the company’s headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky.  This will be the third time a representative of the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project(FEP) has attended a Humana shareholder meeting.

“This is the third time we will address Humana executives about ObamaCare’s failings, and we hope they will have a more open mind this time,” said National Center General Counsel and FEP Director Justin Danhof, Esq., who plans to attend on Thursday and participated in a past Humana shareholder meeting.  “With President Trump determined to set a new course on health care policy and the congressional leadership behind his efforts, Humana risks losing a seat at the table if they continue to provide support for a system they won’t even work with anymore.” 

On April 20, the National Center will post the text of its prepared question for Humana executives prominently on the National Center website after the shareholder meeting starts (which can be accessed here after posting).  Any comments from the Free Enterprise Project after the meeting will be also be available on the site (directly accessible here ) within hours of the conclusion of the meeting.

At previous shareholder meetings, Humana CEO Bruce Broussard refused to cede any ground to National Center representatives who questioned him about the company’s support for ObamaCare.  In 2014, when the National Center’s David Hogberg, Ph.D. asked Broussard if Humana would pledge not to take a bailout from ObamaCare’s “risk adjustment” scheme, Broussard refused and said the money would “ensure that our members have an affordable plan.”  In 2015, Danhof questioned Humana’s support of ObamaCare through an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case of King v. Burwelldespite the Humana website noting ObamaCare “falls short in addressing. . . rising costs.”  Danhof brought copies of a dozen free-market ObamaCare alternatives to that meeting and asked Broussard to consider working with conservatives on a free-market alternative.  Broussard would not commit to working with conservatives, but Humana recently announced plans to exit ObamaCare’s health care exchanges in 2018.

“Humana and other large insurance companies worked in lock-step with the Obama Administration and liberal congressmembers to advance, promote and defend ObamaCare.  We repeatedly brought concerns over ObamaCare’s market-distorting schemes to their attention, but our concerns were dismissed. Now that Humana and other insurers are exiting many ObamaCare exchanges and otherwise suffering the ill effects of the law, the timing is optimal for a new path forward,” said Danhof.  “While the most recent congressional effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare has stalled, there will be plenty of opportunities to enact change.  Humana owes it to the American people to work with President Trump and Congress to craft policies that expand access to care and drive down health care costs.”

Earlier this year, another health care provider indicated to the National Center that it would be willing to work on replacing ObamaCare.  Walgreens Boots Alliance Chairman James Skinner told Danhof at the pharmacy giant’s annual shareholder meeting that his company would be willing to work with the Trump Administration in finding a free-market alternative to ObamaCare.

Launched in 2007, the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market activist group – focusing on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business.  Since 2014, National Center representatives have participated in nearly 100 shareholder meetings to advance 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 Humana meeting will mark FEP’s fifth shareholder meeting attended so far in 2017.

The National Centers Free Enterprise Project activism has yielded a tremendous return on investment:

  • FEPs highly-publicized questioning of support for the Clinton Foundation by Boeing and General Electric helped trigger an FBI investigation of the Clinton Foundations activities that dominated the 2016 presidential campaign.  
  • FEP inquiries prompted Facebook to address political bias against conservatives in social media.
  •  Company executives acknowledged media bias at ABC News (Disney), the Washington Post and CNN (Time Warner) in response to FEPs challenges, which helped to bring about more objective reporting and more balanced political representation.
  • FEPs Employee Conscience Protection Project strengthened protections for the political beliefs and activities of over five million workers at 13 major U.S. corporations.
So far in 2017, media featuring the FEP has included the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Variety, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Breitbart, WorldNetDaily, Drudge Report, Business Insider, CNET, National Public Radio, American Family Radio and SiriusXM. In 2016, the FEP was also featured in the Washington Times, the Fox News Channel’s “Cavuto,” the Financial Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, the Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Newsmax, the Daily Caller, Lifezette, theSeattle Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribune among many others.  The Free Enterprise Project was also featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassels 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech(Hachette Book Group).

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 email updates here.  Follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter for general announcements.  To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at@NCPPRMedia.

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Free-Market Criticism of Starbucks CEO’s Liberal Agenda Brewing for Annual Investor Meeting

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Activists Ready for Third Appearance at a Starbucks Shareholder Meeting  

Business Insider Reports Starbucks’ “Brand Has Taken a Beating” After Coffeehouse Giant Challenges Trump Agenda

Seattle, WA/Washington, D.C. – Trouble is brewing at Starbucks, and the nation’s leading proponent of free-market investor activism is set to question Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on March 22 about how the political agenda influencing how the coffeehouse giant operates is reportedly hurting the brand and harming shareholders’ investments.
The National Center for Public Policy Research, a Starbucks shareholder, is sending the director of its Free Enterprise Project (FEP) to the annual Starbucks investor meeting to raise concerns about how liberal political stances and attacks on President Donald Trump could be damaging the company’s reputation and sales.  The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 22 at 10 a.m. Pacific at the Marion Oliver McCaw Hall in Seattle, Washington.  This will be the third time a National Center representative has attended a Starbucks shareholder meeting.

“Coffee has no political allegiance, but Starbucks under Schultz’s leadership has been unwavering in its support of liberal causes to the detriment of its brand and shareholder value,” said National Center General Counsel and FEP Director Justin Danhof, Esq., who plans to attend Wednesday’s meeting and has questioned Schultz at previous shareholder meetings.  “As Schultz is set to retire next month, it remains to be seen if his successor will work to unite Americans and make Starbucks more inviting to conservative and libertarian consumers, or if the company’s new leadership will continue Schultz’s divisive politicking.”

At the meeting, Danhof plans to address how Starbucks has taken many controversial policy positions under Schultz’s leadership that are reportedly hurting the company’s image and profits.  For example, in 2013, in response to a concern about a Starbucks boycott related to the company’s support of same-sex marriage, Schultz said the company wanted to “embrace diversity” and invited the investor raising the issue to sell his shares.  The company was also criticized for its “Race Together Initiative” that sought to engage customers in discussions with Starbucks employees about race relations as well as for its refusal to acknowledge Christmas on its holiday cups.  Most recently, Business Insider reports “Starbucks’ brand has taken a beating” due to Schultz’s criticism of President Trump’s initial executive order on immigration and for plans to hire 10,000 refugees.

On March 22, the National Center will post the text of its prepared question for the Starbucks CEO prominently on the National Center website when the shareholder meeting starts (which can be accessed here after posting).  Any comments from the Free Enterprise Project after the meeting will be also be available on the site (directly accessible here) within hours of the conclusion of the meeting.

At the 2016 Starbucks meeting, the National Center presented a shareholder proposalasking the company to protect its employees from penalties at work stemming from their private, legal political activities.  Opposed by Starbucks, but accepted by other major corporations, the National Center’s “Employee Conscience Protection Project” led to policies safeguarding the personal political activities and beliefs of over five million employees at 13 major U.S. companies including Walmart, Pepsi, Visa, General Electric, Home Depot and more.

In 2014, Schultz was commended by the National Center during the shareholder meeting for not bowing to the anti-science demands of radical environmental activists who were seeking to force Starbucks to purge its products of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Launched in 2007, the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market activist group – focusing on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business.  Since 2014, National Center representatives have participated in nearly 100 shareholder meetings to advance 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 Starbucks meeting will mark FEP’s fourth shareholder meeting so far in 2017.

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project activism has yielded a tremendous return on investment:

  • FEP’s highly-publicized questioning of support for the Clinton Foundation by Boeing and General Electric helped trigger an FBI investigation of the Clinton Foundation’s activities that dominated the 2016 presidential campaign.
  • FEP inquiries prompted Facebook to address political bias against conservatives in social media.
  •  Company executives acknowledged media bias at ABC News (Disney), the Washington Post and CNN (Time Warner) in response to FEP’s challenges, which helped to bring about more objective reporting and more balanced political representation.
  • FEP’s “Employee Conscience Protection Project” strengthened protections for the political beliefs and activities of over five million workers at 13 major U.S. corporations.
In 2016, the Free Enterprise Project was featured in the Washington Post, theWashington Times, the Fox News Channel’s “Cavuto,” the Drudge Report, the Financial Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, the Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Times,Fortune, Newsmax, the Daily Caller, Lifezette, the Seattle Times, the Quad City Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribune among many others.  The Free Enterprise Project was also featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassel’s 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech (Hachette Book Group).

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 email updates here.  Follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter for general announcements.  To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at@NCPPRMedia.

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