An increasing amount of modern political discourse among the general public is centered around corporate responsibility. Corporations today are heavily criticized for compromising the American ideals of equality and justice in the ruthless pursuit of bottom-line profit. One aspect of this is lobbying, the process by which corporate representatives offer financial contributions to politicians in order to gain more favorable legislation. It has recently been vilified as a legally sanctioned form of political bribery that results in policies advantageous to big business rather than the general American population. Moreover, CEOs are accused of publicly denigrating certain political parties while secretly contributing to their election campaigns. As a result, corporations are now attempting to pass various resolutions to ensure political accountability.
The key to corporate political accountability is matching political lobbying efforts with corporate sustainability goals (Hodge, 2019). If a company advocates free gender expression and LGBTQ+ inclusivity, it should be clear that it is funneling its money into political projects that support these causes. Three approaches are recommended to demonstrate this alignment between public positions and funding: transparency, principles, and partnerships (Hodge, 2019). Firstly, corporations have to go further than simply fulfilling legal requirements. Companies are recommended to provide full details on contribution recipients and amounts. Secondly, it is also advised that corporations establish board committees to review corporate spending on political causes to ensure their expenditures align with their principles and publish a public statement on their policy goals to the same effect (Hodge, 2019). Additionally, corporations should review their partnerships with certain associations and establish clear criteria that specify how to support groups that align with corporate principles and manage potential conflicts of interest (Hodge, 2019). Aligning political contributions and business partnerships with corporate principles and making all the information easily accessible to the general public is the best strategy for ensuring corporate political accountability.
In conclusion, the influence of corporate interests on American politics is a hotly debated topic. Political expenditures of corporations are currently under an extreme microscope. Unless they want to lose their customer base or even cause social movements protesting lobbying, corporations need to make political accountability part of their corporate strategy. To do this, they need to focus on transparency, principles, and partnerships.
Hodge, J. (2019). The new climate for corporate political accountability. Web.