Engler declined to reveal the roundtable’s budget for the campaign, noting only that it’s “enough to do an impressive and impactful job.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also called for passage of Russia PNTR. And its president, Tom Donohue, in a statement hailed the introduction Tuesday of Senate legislation to that end by Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.).
Labor unions such as the AFL-CIO that typically opposed most recent trade deals have not come out against Russia PNTR. But the AFL-CIO does have concerns with it, according to a spokesman.
At Target Corp.’s annual meeting in Chicago today, a group of shareholders will urge the company to completely halt all political spending.
“Political contributions are fraught with risk, and even seemingly small contributions can have an impact on a company’s reputation and employee morale,” said Larisa Ruoff, director of shareholder advocacy at Green Century Capital Management, a Boston-based firm that is investment adviser to the Green Century Equity Fund, a Target investor pressing for the resolution.
Amid growing shareholder activism over political money, several companies have faced votes this spring on resolutions urging full disclosure of corporate political spending. The Target resolution is unusual in that it calls not just for disclosure but for a full ban on campaign spending, even through trade groups or nonprofits.
It’s the third resolution calling for a complete ban to come before a major company this spring. Last month Trillium Asset Management, another Boston-based investment adviser, urged shareholders to vote for similar proposals at the annual meetings of 3M and Bank of America.
Ruoff said Target shareholders are responding in part to a 2010 controversy involving the company’s indirect support for an anti-gay candidate.
In a proxy statement released before the meeting, Target directors recommended against voting for the resolution. The company strengthened transparency and oversight after the 2010 controversy, the statement noted, but “determined that a complete prohibition of this nature was too absolute and could put Target at a disadvantage if there ever were circumstances when use of corporate funds would be in the best interests of the corporation.”
K Street Moves
John Spitaleri Shaw, a one-time investigative counsel to then-Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.), is taking the helm of the Natural Products Association. The group represents makers of dietary supplements, health and beauty aids and foods.
Shaw also previously worked as assistant secretary for environment, safety and health at the Energy Department and was a lobbyist at Patton Boggs.
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