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Citing study, Assemblyman stresses full disclosure for public companies' political contributions

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Having already introduced a resolution last month calling on Congress to draw up legislation requiring publicly-traded companies to disclose to shareholders their political contributions, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-Hillsborough) is again stressing the need for companies to fully comply with such disclosure practices.

On Tuesday, Ciattarelli cited the recently released 2013 CPA-Zicklin Index of Corporate Political Accountability and Disclosure, which found an increase in the number of leading U.S. companies that have expanded practices of political spending disclosure and accountability.

The study, which sampled the top 200 companies listed in the S&P 500 index, also concluded that while the spike in transparency is a dramatic shift from that of a decade ago, "significant room for improvement remains."

"Since shareholders have a vested interest in their company and its capital, they should have the right to be informed of its political spending policies," Ciattarelli said in a statement. "While the latest results of the CPA-Zicklin Index are encouraging, there are still far too many corporations that received a less than stellar grade."

He added that the matter was a bipartisan one that should receive such support and said, "Shareholders deserve no less than complete transparency."

In addition to Ciattarelli's proposed Assembly resolution, he has also sent a letter to the state's Congressional leaders requesting their support, writing: "While there are some companies that exceed their reporting requirements by disclosing political contribution, most do not."

Ciattarelli went on his letter to Congress to note: "Corporate accountability should include how politically active the company is and what candidates and elected officials it supports."

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