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News Release: New SEC Policy Signaling Selective Enforcement of Shareholder Proposal Rule Threatens Shareholder Rights

On September 6, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a new policy that could significantly reduce transparency and accountability in the process of enforcement of the rules on shareholder proposals. According to a group of leading investors who utilize this process, the new policy undermines the rights of shareholders and increases uncertainty.

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GE is Shedding More Light on its Political Donations

New General Electric CEO Larry Culp’s emphasis on transparency apparently now extends to the company’s political operations. GE executives just decided to broaden the company’s disclosures of political donations to include trade association dues as well as gifts to “social welfare” nonprofits, a.k.a. 501(c)(4)s, often used to funnel 'dark money' to candidates.

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Agenda (a Financial Times service): GE Opens Its Books on Political Spending

General Electric announced it would become more transparent – starting this month – by disclosing any contributions it makes to so-called social welfare organizations, a category of nonprofit groups that often sponsor campaign outreach and political attack ads. GE agreed to the array of new policies as a result of a shareholder resolution and negotiations with Investor Voice.

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Press Release: General Electric Embraces Broader Disclosure of Political Spending – Dialogue Spurred by Shareholder Engagement

For the first time, GE has agreed to robust disclosure of payments made to trade associations and secretive “social welfare” organizations, also known as 501(c)(4) groups – payments that might be used for election-related purposes. Investor Voice filed a shareholder proposal in September that urged the company to embrace greater transparency by disclosing such payments.

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