Here's part of Harrington's proposal that Goldman does not want to be part of their public agenda:
"Whereas, in the opinion of the proponent, massive expenditures on political contributions organized by our company are inappropriate. As investors, we believe the spending by Goldman Sachs PAC and company employees is as likely to jeopardize the reputation of the company as it is to enhance profitability. Further, as citizens, we believe that any such efforts undermine the integrity of our nation's electoral system, and encourage competitive and covert corporate involvement in elections. They abrogate and overwhelm the role of individual voters in the electoral process and result in domination of our political process by corporations; and
"Whereas, the Supreme Court has unleashed the corporation as a "person" for purposes of these fundamentally political and personal activities, we believe it is more appropriate for the Corporation to forthrightly participate in the political process than to do so covertly by availing itself of the opportunity for a behind-the-scenes and potentially anonymous role in politics and political advertising.
"Therefore, be it resolved,
"That the Board of Directors undertake an analysis of the opportunities under federal and state law for Goldman Sachs, as a "person" with certain rights under the laws of the United States and individual states and territories, to run for electoral office where permissible, and to issue a report to shareholders, at reasonable cost and excluding confidential information, by December 31, 2013, on policy options regarding whether and where the corporation can seek to itself run, as a person, for electoral positions. "
(from a compilation of letters between the SEC and Harrington)
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Goldman Rejects proposal That Firm Run for Elected OfficeGoldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), the investment bank nicknamed “Government Sachs” because of senior executives who have moved into public posts, won’t be entering politics itself.
A shareholder proposal that the New York-based company run for office instead of funding political campaigns was discarded, according to a letter last month from the Securities and Exchange Commission, which agreed the firm can exclude the measure from its annual meeting.
Harrington Investments Inc. President John Harrington submitted the proposal last year, saying the $6.39 million in 2012 political contributions from the firm’s employees risks doing more harm to its reputation. He said the bank should explore running for office, using a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that corporations have similar political rights to individuals.
Read the entire article here
Read the letter exchange here