In a previous post, I mentioned that one drug company -- Amgen -- appears to have realized an extraordinary return on investment (ROI) in political spending. Such is not always the case, however, and here is an excellent article making the case that most companies should consider stepping back from this contentious arena and spend less on trying to influence our political system:
Among the considerations mentioned in the article:
“Notwithstanding the Citizens United decision that made it easier for companies to give money secretly, the issue of corporate involvement in politics has never been more public.
Will companies feel a need to explain to their shareholders why certain candidates were supported and others opposed? [RWP note: Target Corporation had this problem in Minnesota in 2010 when it appeared to back a candidate for governor who had good economic ideas but whose views on social issues were so far outside the mainstream that consumers boycotted Target]
Will directors and senior managers even be aware of the legal, policy, and regulatory agendas of the candidates that corporate funds were used, directly and indirectly, to advance?
Will those that devoted substantial resources to politics have buyer’s remorse when they discover that a number of their preferred candidates share neither the company’s values nor its public policy agenda?
Will companies be pleased with a campaign financing system that is cloaked in darkness? Or will they find that secret funding exposes them to shakedowns by powerful political figures?”