Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 27, 2014

Millstein Suggests Corporations Require Trade Association Disclosure

A nationally recognized attorney who counsels corporate boards on governance issues has suggested corporations that give money to trade associations require more disclosure from the trade associations on their political activity.

Ira M. Millstein, senior partner at Weil, Gotshal and Manges, is the founder of the Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership at Columbia Law School. He is also the former chairman of the U.S. National Association of Corporate Directors Blue Ribbon Commission on Director Professionalism, chairman of the Private Sector Advisory Group to the Global Corporate Governance Forum, and a contributor to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s “Principles of Corporate Governance.”

Millstein suggests that the board of a corporation adopt a policy that requires a report on political spending from a trade association of which the corporation is a member. The report should include how the trade association is using the company’s money politically. He also suggests that corporate directors require associations to disclose to members the donors underwriting the trade association political spending.

Millstein’s suggestions were highlighted in an article titled “Political Spending: Big Risk for Boards” by Bruce Freed and Karl Sandstrom, appearing in the 2013 Annual Report of Directors & Boards, a quarterly journal on leadership and corporate governance.

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