Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal laid out the long-term agenda of the anti-business left to coerce, browbeat, and embarrass businesses from taking part in the political and policy process.
“The political left is using this disclosure campaign not to serve the interests of shareholders, but to further its own policy agenda,” the editorial states.
The editorial pieces together the multi-year project concocted by left-wing groups including George Soros’ Open Society Institute, Media Matters, labor unions, and environmental groups.
That harassment strategy was explicitly laid out in the "corporate transparency" section of a document describing its agenda for 2010-2102 from the left-wing agitprop outfit, Media Matters. "Media Matters Action Network will create a multitude of public relations challenges for corporations that make the decision to meddle in political campaigns," says the document. The data from corporate disclosure "may also be used to launch shareholder resolution campaigns to prevent corporations from making these types of expenditures."
And: "These campaigns . . . in alliance with progressive allies may use both earned and paid media, including TV, online and print advertising. Over time, we believe these efforts will dissuade corporations from interfering in our democracy." Translation: We'll make life miserable for CEOs and trash their companies on MSNBC and the like until they shut up.
As recently as March 12 a self-described "large coalition" of labor and liberal groups announced "a major national campaign to target corporations" that contribute to Super PACs or nonprofits "to influence the fall election." One tactic: a "$25,000 reward" to an employee who leaks that his company is making such political contributions. Bounty hunting for fun and political profit.
These efforts to force businesses to disclose what they spend on political activities fuel the efforts of other left-wing groups to launch politicized proxy resolutions. This well-planned strategy of media attacks combined with the abuse of the shareholder proxy process is all about silencing businesses that disagree with their political aims.
Because so many issues come up in Washington that affect the business community, businesses have the right to advocate for their position and an obligation to fight for their shareholders.
What this editorial makes clear is that a concerted strategy exists among left-wing groups to advance their radical political agenda by squelching businesses' voices.