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2017 CPA-Zicklin Index of Corporate Political Disclosure and Accountability

The Center for Public Integrity – Your favorite companies may be political black boxes

“You book a hotel on You buy a Garmin to navigate highways. Finally, you stream Netflix movies to keep the kids occupied on the trip. Just know you’re patronizing companies that volunteer virtually nothing about their political practices and spending, according to a new study on corporate political disclosure and accountability by the nonpartisan Center for Political Accountability and the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Other familiar names such as travel website TripAdvisor, satellite service provider Dish Network Corp. and energy drink-maker Monster Beverage Corp. rank among 58 companies within the S&P 500 that earned a score of zero on the study’s 70-point scale. Scores are calculated based on 24 indicators that range from whether a company publicly discloses corporate contributions to political committees and organizations — including politically active nonprofit organizations that don’t themselves disclose their donors — to whether it posts a detailed report of its corporate political spending on its website. The study also awards points to companies that have established clear political spending and disclosure policies. Other notable companies receiving low political transparency scores include toymaker Mattel Inc., discount stores Dollar General Corp. and Dollar Tree Inc., Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., Tyson Foods Inc. Also among the basement dwellers: consumer credit reporting agency Equifax, which is facing congressional hearings after a massive breach of its data systems that compromised the security of about 143 million Americans’ personal information. When asked about Tyson Food’s score of three points out of a possible 70, Caroline Ahn, a Tyson Foods spokeswoman, said the company complies with federal disclosure requirements…”

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