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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Public Citizen
Google Shareholders and Users to Call on Google to Disclose Political Spending, Leave U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Shareholder and Consumer Groups to Hold Press Conference Before Company’s Annual Shareholder Meeting
WASHINGTON - June 5 - What: Press conference on Thursday, the day of Google Inc.’s annual shareholder meeting, led by consumer groups and shareholders, who will call on Google to institute a policy to disclose its political spending and end its membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Groups of Google investors sent a letter on Monday that echoes the message. Another set of Google investors representing more than $125 billion in assets under management is planning to send a separate letter today with the same requests.
The press conference comes after several public interest groups – Public Citizen, U.S. PIRG and SumOfUs – on Wednesday sent three separate petitions signed by more than 295,000 concerned citizens around the country to Google’s board of directors, urging them to heed the call to act more responsibly.
The groups say that Google’s lack of transparency about the company’s political spending and the company’s membership in the U.S. Chamber both threaten the company’s brand and hurt democracy.
The call to action comes in the wake of the first presidential election cycle after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, which gave corporations the green light to spend unlimited sums to influence elections. Outside spending in the 2012 elections jumped fourfold over 2010 — with much of the money coming from undisclosed corporate sources.
When: 12 p.m. PDT, Thursday, June 6
Where: Charleston Park in front of Google headquarters (1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy, Mountain View, Calif.)
Speakers: Jake Parent, project coordinator, Public Citizen’s U.S. Chamber Watch program
Meredith Benton, vice president, Boston Common Asset Management
Garo Manjikian, legislative advocate, CALPIRG
Ron Freund, vice president and director of asset allocation, The Social Equity Group