Five Virginia companies — including the frequently criticized Dominion Energy and Altria Group — are included among the 57 transparency “trendsetters” in the 2018 CPA-Zicklin Index. The others include Northrop Grumman Corp., Capital One Financial, and Norfolk Southern Corp.
The Index benchmarks political spending disclosure practices and political spending policies of S&P 500 corporations. The ideal political spending policy, according to CPA-Zicklin, explains: (1) the company’s process for making contributions or expenditures to influence political and/or judicial campaigns; (2) how management and the board oversee such decisions; and (3) the public policy considerations that influence such decisions.
The Index is published by the Center for Political Accountability (CPA) and the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Here’s how the Virginia companies rank on a percentile basis compared to other companies in the S&P 500:
Northrop Grumman — 97.1%
Capital One Financial — 95.7%
Altria Group — 94.3%
Norfolk Southern Corp. — 94.3%
Dominion Energy — 91.4%
After the first full year of the Trump administration and a Republican majority Congress, this year’s Index finds that large public companies are holding steady in disclosure and accountability regarding election-related spending, states the press release announcing this year’s results.
Now, if only CPA-Zicklin would start monitoring dark money in the non-profit sector, where billions of dollars spent to shape public opinion and public policy (though not elections) go largely unaccounted for. Here in Virginia, the Piedmont Environmental Council sets an extremely high bar for transparency, listing all major donors and the size (within a range) of their contributions, while the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club provides virtually no information about its funding sources at all. Other environmental and social-justice groups vary considerably in their transparency.There are currently no comments highlighted.