ALEC in Real Clear Investigations: It’s Conservative David vs. the Woke Corporate Green Giant
There is a nascent but growing backlash against a corporate America perceived by many as having gone “woke.”
By Ben Weingarten,
May 17, 2022
Eight years ago, a holder of a modest amount of Apple stock found himself in the peculiar position of being told publicly by an angered CEO Tim Cook that his money was no good in Cupertino. Justin Danhof, a conservative activist investor, had turned up at the company’s annual shareholder meeting to ask Cook, essentially, if his desire to go green trumped his desire to generate green.
Danhof did not tell his broker to sell, but would see his outfit’s related shareholder resolution go down in flames. In 2014, his was not only a losing fight, but a lonely one.
Today, he’s no longer alone. There is a nascent but growing backlash against a corporate America perceived by many as having gone “woke.” The pushback, and the steep uphill climb facing those doing the pushing, can be seen in the record number of conservative shareholder proposals submitted to companies during this year’s annual corporate meeting season – some 48 of them as of late April – but also the record number of progressive proposals, dwarfing conservative ones by more than tenfold at a whopping 500-plus.
Another legislative push comes from the free market-oriented American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC has proposed that states enact a State Government Employee Retirement Protection Act to shield pensioners “from politically driven investment strategies.”
In an interview with RealClearInvestigations, ALEC chief economist and Executive Vice President of Policy Jonathan Williams said the legislation came in response to concerns over “corporate boardroom politics,” which his organization believes must be kept out of public pension systems.