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Friday, February 12, 2010

Russell Olson Prefers Corporations Not Answer to Stockholders

Pat Powers is having fun manufacturing outrage over Scott Heidepriem's vote against SJR 3, which purports to protect the right to a secret ballot. (SJR 3 is really just more pro-corporate union-busting hogwash, but hey, that's the South Dakota Republican Party for you.)

Meanwhile, some of PP's favorite Republicans, including our own Senator Russell Olson (R-8/Madison), are voting against giving shareholders a vote of any sort, secret or otherwise, in how the companies they invest in spend their money. Heidepriem sponsored SB 165, a measure that would have required corporations to obtain a majority vote from their stockholders to authorize any contribution to a political cause or candidate.

Perfectly reasonable. Perfectly democratic.

Five Republicans killed it in committee Wednesday. Senator Gene Abdallah bucked his anti-democratic colleagues and voted with Heidepriem and Gary Hanson to keep the bill alive, but it wasn't enough.

Once again, our Senator Olson shows that corporations aren't just people, they're more important people than the common folks who elect him..


  1. CAH-

    What? Why should the government be dictating corporate governance? The rules that govern the corporation are put in place by the share holders and can be changed by the share holders. If they want such a provision in their corporate governance they can include it.

    There is no need to dictate this behavior to them. This looks like pointless red tape to me.

  2. I would suggest that this legislation is no more unnecessary external corporate governance than the union-busting rule Olson voted for. The Republicans' "secret vote" amendment attempts to tell private organizations how they can constitute themselves. SB 165 attempts to impose democratic representation on corpoate affairs. Is there a difference?

  3. Here is how earth criminals get out ahead of their own crimes:


  4. CAH-

    Point taken. Both a corporation and a union are given special rights as an organization so I don't think that a significant distinction can be made between them. If your intent here is to simply point out Olson's hypocrisy, then you have made your point. (Though, unions are given some very unique abilities through the government. To my knowledge, unions can't modify these abilities through internal votes which corporations can. So there may be a valid argument for additional rules to be placed on unions.)

    From a policy stand point though, I don't support adding arbitrary rules to either corporations or unions. Both of these rules are bad ideas.


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