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Secret Political Spending by Large U.S. Retail Chains - Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, Amazon

Publicly Traded Retail Companies Not Disclosing Political Campaign Contributions

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Updated October 18, 2012
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Set loose by the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, political spending by U.S. corporations broke all sorts of records during the 2012 election year. Many of the largest U.S. retail chains are voluntarily disclosing details about their political spending and campaign contributions to 2012 political campaigns to their shareholders and consumers, even though they're not required to. But Wal-Mart, Lowe's, and Amazon are among the retail chains that are keeping their campaign contributions a secret, which is a cause for concern to anyone who invests in or shops with these mega retail chains.

The Center for Political Accountability (CPA) has been concerned about secret and undisclosed campaign contributions from corporations since it was founded in 2003. The organization publishes its CPA-Zicklin Index of Corporate Political Accountability and Disclosure Report each year not just to provide information to the investing and buying public about the political spending of some of the largest corporations on the planet, but also to put pressure on those corporations to adopt disclosure policies and practices that the CPA advocates.

What follows is a list of the publicly traded U.S. retail industry companies with the worst political spending accountability to their shareholders and consumers, and the most secretive political campaign contributions on the S&P 200. The ranking score next to each company name indicates how low each of the companies was ranked, with “62” being the worst ranking number possible. (NOTE: Although there were 200 companies compared, many of the companies “tied” for ranking numbers.)

The Political Disclosure and Accountability Score is the number of points each of the retail companies were given out of a possible 72 points, based on 25 political accountability and public disclosure policies and actions that the Center for Political Accountability advocates. The retail companies listed here earned fewer than 36 points, the median score possible, which makes them below average in at least one respect.

In other words, the companies at the top of the list below have the worst Political Accountability and Campaign Contribution Disclosure, and the companies at the bottom of the list have better political accountability and disclosure, but still not good when compared to other S&P 200 companies.

Publicly Traded U.S. Retail Industry Companies with the Worst Public Disclosure and Accountability About Secret Campaign Contributions and Political Spending in 2012:

62 V.F. Corporation
V.F.'s 2012 Political Disclosure & Accountability Score - 0

57 Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart's 2012 Political Disclosure & Accountability Score - 5

56 Lowe's Corporation
Lowe's 2012 Political Disclosure & Accountability Score - 6

56 Bed, Bath & Beyond
Bed Bath & Beyond's 2012 Disclosure & Accountability Score - 6

55 Coach
Coach's 2012 Political Disclosure & Accountability Score - 7

53 Hess Corporation
Hess' 2012 Political Disclosure & Accountability Score - 9

51 Amazon.com
Amazon's 2012 Disclosure & Accountability Score - 11

47 Walgreen Co.
Walgreen’s 2012 Disclosure & Accountability Score - 15

43 AT&T
AT&T's 2012 Disclosure & Accountability Score - 20

42 Google
Google's 2012 Political Disclosure & Accountability Score - 23

39 CVS Caremark
CVS Caremark's 2012 Political Disclosure & Accountability Score - 26

37 Nike
Nike's 2012 Political Disclosure & Accountability Score - 28

37 Home Depot
Home Depot's 2012 Political Disclosure & Accountability Score - 28

35 eBay
eBay's 2012 Political Disclosure & Accountability Score - 30

35 Ford Motor Company
Ford's 2012 Political Disclosure & Accountability Score - 30

35 ExxonMobil
ExxonMobil's 2012 Political Disclosure & Accountability Score - 30

34 Marathon Oil Corporation
Marathon's 2012 Political Disclosure & Accountability Score - 31

32 Chevron Corporation
Chevron's 2012 Political Disclosure & Accountability Score - 35

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