Despite Warren Buffett’s frequent advocacy of political causes such as reproductive rights and gender equality, the company he runs has largely stayed away from the political fray. But, that hasn’t stopped a pair of shareholder advisory firms from asking shareholders to approve a proxy measure that increases disclosures in the political spending of the company.
Berkshire’s Board of Directors has stated that the parent company of Berkshire Hathaway has never made a political contribution and that taken as a whole, its subsidiaries make few contributions as well. The Board cited the figure for subsidiary donations as 0.1% of annual spend – which would equate to a figure close to $200 million a year. It is likely that most of this spending is the result of the need for politically sensitive utility and railroad units to lobby federal and local government entities.
Shareholders will have a chance to vote on the proposal at this Saturday’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders.
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