Alta Mesa Executives Ignored Their Engineers And Mislead Investors

In April, a judge ruled that a lawsuit filed by former investors in the shale oil company Alta Mesa could proceed. Their case alleges multiple instances of fraud and reveals that not only did engineers in the company warn executives that they were lying to investors about oil production estimates but that executives went on to ignore those warnings.

Alta Mesa is among a string of oil and gas companies that in recent years have either been accused or found guilty of fraud, including ExxonMobil and Miller Energy.

Many of these emerging fraud cases show a consistent pattern of employees warning leadership that they were misleading investors about how much oil the companies could reasonably produce in the future, but rather than changing course the employees were ignored or fired.

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Shareholders Push To End Secret Political Spending

Popular Information focuses a lot of attention on the activities of corporate PACs, even though the dollar figures involved are relatively small. Corporate PACs can contribute a maximum of $5,000 per election to a federal candidate. For a typical candidate that has a primary and general election, that’s $10,000 per cycle. 

So why do we spend so much time tracking this spending?

Because corporate PACs are one of the few aspects of corporate political spending that is fully transparent. All of the money donated by corporate PACs to federal candidates is reported to the FEC. Things are a bit more complex on the state level, but it’s a similar dynamic. Most states also have fairly regular disclosure of corporate PAC donations. Some states allow corporations to donate directly to candidates but those donations still must be disclosed.

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Shareholders Demand Dominion Energy Clean Up Its Reporting

Shareholders have submitted a resolution calling on Dominion Energy to fully disclose its lobbying efforts. The resolution will be voted on Wednesday morning at Dominion’s annual meeting.  When Dominion released a statement encouraging shareholders to oppose the resolution, the shareholders responded with a 12 page memo explaining why they should vote yes on Item #4 Dominion’s Report on Lobbying.

The memo includes a deep dive into Dominion’s involvement with organizations associated with fraud, corruption and the recent rally before the insurrection attempt on January 6 at the US Capitol Building. From the memo:

“Proponents believe Dominion’s trade associations’ activities are jeopardizing our Company’s reputation.

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Activist Investor Urges Exxon Shareholders To Vote Against Directors

The activist investor leading a proxy fight to reshape Exxon Mobil Corp on Monday named the four directors it wants shareholders to remove at the oil company’s upcoming annual general meeting.

The investor, Engine No. 1, is a small fund that last year took on the top U.S. oil producer for what it said was poor financial returns and a lagging approach to cleaner fuels. Exxon since has vowed to cut its debt, invest more in low-carbon initiatives, and improve returns.

The fund singled out for removal three former chief executives of prominent U.S. companies and the former head of Malaysia’s state-run oil firm who joined the board last month. Its nominees for the board include a former U.S. Energy Department official and an executive at a wind turbine developer-manufacturer.

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P&G Investors Challenge CEO Over Forest Destruction Concerns

Washington – In a shocking move by Procter & Gamble’s shareholders that defied the company’s own recommendations, two-thirds of Procter & Gamble (P&G) shareholders voted “yes” at the company’s annual meeting on Tuesday, October 13, to pass a proposal on forest sourcing and impacts. The vote is a clear indication that despite repeated insistence from company executives, the world’s largest consumer goods company is not doing enough to deal with the financial threats of deforestation and forest degradation in its supply chains.

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Corporations Should Have To Hear From Their Owners

When we think about ways to pressure corporations to improve their practices, we may think of petitions, street demonstrations, boycotts, or social media campaigns. Yet there’s another way that’s been used effectively for decades. It involves those who stand to gain from keeping companies healthy over the long term. It’s called shareholder action. Surprised? Shareholders, who are part-owners of the companies in which they invest, can use their investor status to pressure companies to be better corporate citizens. You’re a shareholder if you buy stock in a company. While not usually in the limelight, people who care about the social and environmental impacts of the companies in which they invest have helped improve corporate conduct for decades.

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Challenging A Wall Street Giant On Pay

By staff. Investor and philanthropist Stephen Silberstein has set up a CEO pay showdown at the May 25 BlackRock annual meeting in New York City. The Wall Street firm’s CEO, Laurence Fink, is a classic example of “pay for nonperformance,” hauling in $26 million in compensation last year despite a significant drop in the company’s share price. But it gets worse.

As the world’s largest money manager, BlackRock holds shares in thousands of U.S. corporations. And when it comes time to vote every year on those corporations’ executive pay packages, BlackRock nearly always rubberstamps the proposals — no matter how bloated they may be. Silberstein has filed a shareholder resolution with BlackRock that would require management to come up with plans for “bringing its voting practices in line with its stated principle of linking executive compensation and performance.” co-editor Sarah Anderson talked with Steve about his strategy.

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Investors Urge FCC to Protect Net Neutrality

A group of investment firms and foundations with widely-diversified investment portfolios today called upon the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt network neutrality rules that would protect an open Internet. They recommended reclassification of broadband Internet service under Title II of the Communications Act, giving the FCC clear regulatory authority over the Internet network infrastructure that serves millions of individuals, entrepreneurs and established businesses throughout the U.S.

Network neutrality is the principle that all Internet content and applications should be treated equally regardless of the source. It prohibits blocking and discrimination and bars Internet service providers from offering paid priority “fast lanes” for some content.

“We believe open Internet policies help drive the economy, encourage innovation and reward investors,” the group said. The FCC filing highlighted the importance of network neutrality rules for start-up and technology companies as well as small and medium-sized businesses and companies that address critical needs such as healthcare, education and banking.

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Uranium Mining Protesters At Cameco Shareholders Meeting

The agenda for Cameco’s annual general meeting took a turn Wednesday when a group of protesters showed up at Cameco’s head office.

The focus shifted from updating shareholders on the financial future of the company to the ethics and environmental impact of uranium mining in northern Saskatchewan.

The protest of about 25 people was organized by members of the English River First Nation but was attended by people from all over the province including Lumsden, Outlook, Standing Buffalo, Saskatoon and an outspoken woman from La Ronge.

“All we will have done is increase the amount of radioactivity on the land,” said Kirsten Scansen, of La Ronge, Sask.

“It’s making our food, our land base, our wild meats, our fish, our plants, our berries, making them more dangerous in our lives and decreasing our livelihood, decreasing our health, decreasing our well being.”

The protesters biggest concerns are the radioactive tailings ponds left in the north and the high grade nuclear waste being disposed of.

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Activists Swarm Lowe’s Shareholder Meeting, Demand End To Bee-Killing Pesticides

On Friday May 30th, outside of Lowe’s Annual Shareholder Meeting, members of, joined by beekeepers from around the country, and a giant inflatable bee, will draw attention to the corporation’s continued sale of neonicotinoids, commonly known as neonics, a type of pesticides that has been linked to the collapse of bee populations worldwide.

WHEN: Friday, May 30th. Protest and visuals start at 8:00am ET. Press conference and remarks at 9:00am ET. Lowe’s Shareholder Meeting starts at 10:00am ET.

WHERE: 10000 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy, at the intersection of John J. Delaney Dr. Charlotte, NC 28277

Beekeepers outside join Lowe’s shareholders inside asking the corporation to remove bee-killing neonic pesticides from its shelves, and to promote alternative products that are not toxic to bees. More than 730,000 people have signed onto a petition from, urging Lowe’s and Home Depot to stop selling the bee-killing pesticides.

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Meet Moms Who Crashed McDonald’s Shareholder Meeting

Casey Hinds showed up at her first McDonald’s annual shareholder meeting in Illinois Thursday—to crash it. For months, she and five other nutrition-blogger moms prepared to confront McDonald’s executives about marketing strategies aimed at children, like the use of cartoons and celebrities.

They’re part of a nationwide network called #MomsNotLovinIt, organized by the nonprofit Corporate Accountability International (CAI) to curb the marketing of junk food to kids and the rise of diet-related disease.

Hinds had never done anything like this, she told YES!, and she was nervous. Outside the meeting, hundreds of protesters had gathered for the second day in a row to demand better pay for low-wage McDonald’s workers (138 people were arrested Wednesday for trespassing—and 101 of them were McDonald’s workers).

When Hinds and the other moms arrived inside the meeting, they found that, rather than being invited to approach the microphone with their concerns, this year they had to submit questions ahead of time to be screened by CEO Don Thompson. Only one of the six moms who prepared statements were invited to speak.

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Merger Protests Greet Comcast’s Annual Shareholder Meeting

Demonstrators gathered this morning outside Comcast Corporation’s annual shareholders’ meeting to show opposition to the company’s proposed merger with Time Warner Cable.

Outside the Kimmel Center, Delara Derakhshani, policy counsel for Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, says a merger between the two media giants would result in worse customer service, higher prices, and fewer choices.

“I would say that they’re sort of notorious for lousy customer service, and they’re just going to have less of an incentive, I think, to address customer needs,” she told KYW Newsradio.

Meanwhile, Comcast spokesperson John Demming was on hand to read a written statement from Comcast:

“The combination of Comcast and Time Warner Cable will bring significant benefits to consumers, including faster Internet speeds, net neutrality protection, a more reliable and more secure network, low-cost Internet access, and more diverse and independent programming to millions of Americans across the nation,” he read.

But Steven Renderos, with the Center for Media Justice, doesn’t think the merger will help consumers at all.

“All it really does is it puts Comcast in a position to have more power,” he said.

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Arrests At Peabody’s Annual Shareholder Meeting

“I am proud to stand with allies from Black Mesa and Rocky Branch against Peabody. Our campaign at WashU is not an isolated one; we stand together with communities all across the country to demand an end to Peabody’s violent and destructive practices. When we organize strategically as a united front, we all won.” – Caroline Burney

This morning, Wash U Senior, Caroline Burney, was arrested with 10 others outside of the Peabody Shareholders Meeting, demanding that Peabody cease its destruction of communities like Rocky Branch, IL and Black Mesa, AZ and stop subverting democracy in St. Louis.

11 people, including Student-Against-Peabody member Caroline Burney, were arrested today at Peabody’s annual shareholder meeting. Those arrested have been released. Resistance efforts from Black Mesa, Rocky Branch, and St. Louis were represented in the protest.

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Bank Of America Protested Over Coal And Climate Finance

An international coalition of shareholders and community leaders from as far away as Bogota, Colombia, will testify to the grave impacts resulting from Bank of America’s financing of the coal industry at the bank’s Annual General Meeting today in Charlotte, North Carolina. Shareholders will also consider a resolution requesting the bank to report carbon emissions stemming from financing of carbon-intensive industries. Coal is the top contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) that cause climate change.

The proposed resolution requests that Bank of America provide an assessment and report on its financing of GHG emissions. It was introduced by members of the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) and endorsed by a coalition of institutional investors with nearly $35 billion in managed assets.

“Coal is still a big problem for Bank of America, as it continues to finance billions of dollars each year to the dirtiest companies in the business,” said Ben Collins, Policy Campaigner for Rainforest Action Network. “Shareholders proposed a resolution that the bank come clean on its accounting– and report the climate consequences of its financing decisions in the light of day.”

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