Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity Launches Baruch Index of Corporate Political Disclosure

First of Its Kind Index to Inform Healthy Panel Discussion on September 15

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New York, NY, September 12, 2011 -- On September 15, 2011, Baruch College's Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity will release results from The Baruch Index of Corporate Political Disclosure, which rates the S&P 100 companies from “transparent” to “opaque.” Presentation of the research and results will be followed by what is sure to be a challenging discussion between some of today's most influential corporate, academic and policy leaders.

Barbara Bonfiglio, Senior Corporate Counsel, Pfizer; Adam Skaggs, Senior Counsel, Democracy Program, Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law; and Hans von Spakovsky, Senior Legal Fellow / Manager, Civil Justice Reform Initiative, Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation will meet at Baruch to discuss both sides of this important issue.

In January 2010, the United States Supreme Court rendered its decision in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case. That verdict allowed corporations (among others) to be much more active in election campaigns, through methods that are publicly disclosed as well as methods that are both undisclosed and unlimited. Under the Citizens United ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court, corporations are free to engage in a variety of campaign activities at all levels and branches of government. This has led some to fear of a tremendous influx of corporate money into the campaign system, particularly through anonymous, unlimited avenues such as trade associations, social welfare organizations, and 527 groups. Baruch College's Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity initiated the creation of the Baruch Index in order to track corporate disclosure of these activities.

The Baruch Index rates the S&P 100 companies with a weighted system of 57 items measuring corporate political activity at all levels and branches of government. On September 15, the index results will be presented by Donald H. Schepers, Ph.D., Director of the RZCCI and Naomi A. Gardberg, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management at Baruch College. The presentation will be followed by the panel discussion moderated by Ric Marshall, Chief Analyst, Governance Metrics International (GMI).

The Baruch Index of Corporate Political Disclosure measures a company's willingness to disclose, or its transparency, regarding its corporate political activity with regard to:

  • Ease with which someone can find the relevant materials on the corporate website;
  • What policies, procedures, and corporate governance structures are in place and disclosed; and
  • What the corporation says about who and what it gives to, and how those donations are made.

 

WHAT: The Baruch Index of Corporate Political Disclosure

WHEN: Thursday, September 15

From 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. (Continental breakfast served at 8:00 a.m.)        

WHERE: Baruch College

Newman Vertical Campus – CC H 763

55 Lexington Avenue, New York City

 

The Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity is a forum for discussion of a broad range of contemporary issues confronting US corporations and capital markets. Our concerns include: transparency of corporate reporting, corporate governance, examining legal and ethical corporate behavior, spotlighting executive accountability, corporate responsibility in global business development, risk assessment and amelioration, resolving conflicting corporate stakeholder interests, and evaluating the role of governmental regulation.

For more information, please contact:

Manny Romero, 646-660-6141, Manuel.Romero@baruch.cuny.edu