Bank of America will be holding its annual shareholder meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, on May 9th. A group of shareholders led by Trillium Asset Management will be introducing a resolution calling on the megabank to cease all political donations, as these “contributions can backfire on a corporation’s reputation and bottom line.” For example, retail giant Target took a hit in the stock market for spending cash on anti-gay politicians.
SumOfUs.org launched a petition to support the shareholders’ demands. The petition reached 75,000 signatures, and will be presented next week at the shareholder meeting.
“Americans are fed up with large corporations thinking they can buy our elections,” said Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, founder and executive director of SumOfUs.org, the group running the petition, “especially when you consider that Bank of America needed our dollars to stay afloat after helping crash the economy, we are especially angry that they would donate to Super PACs that aim to elect people who will put Wall Street before Main Street.”
Indeed, Bank of America, which has received billions of dollarsin taxpayer funds as a part of federal bailouts, has been a huge political spender, donating $1,699,946 so far this year to federal political candidates. It is also no doubt giving money to advocacy groups like the Chamber of Commerce, but it’s difficult to decipher exactly how much it is donating.