On Monday, the directors and officers of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp agreed to settle a derivative suit accusing them of breaching their duty to shareholders by failing to avert the phone-hacking scandal at the company’s British newspapers. News Corp’s insurers will pay $139 million, in what shareholder lawyers at Grant & Eisenhofer called the largest-ever cash settlement of derivative claims in Delaware Chancery Court. The settlement, which comes as News Corp prepares to split its news and entertainment branches into two publicly traded companies, was produced after several months of mediation that took place while the company’s motion to dismiss was pending before Vice Chancellor John Noble.
The cash portion of the deal (which will be eventually reduced by legal fees paid to G&E, co-lead counsel from Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann and several other plaintiffs firms that managed to grab a piece of the case) is obviously the big news, but among the many corporate governance enhancements detailed in the memorandum of understanding between News Corp and shareholders, you’ll find what appears to be a historic concession by the company: News Corp has agreed to disclose its campaign and political action committee contributions to shareholders and its lobbying and Super PAC spending to the board. According to two advocates for corporate political transparency, this settlement apparently marks the first time that shareholders have used the vehicle of a derivative suit to obtain enhanced disclosure of corporate political spending. “I think it’s terrific,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). “Any way to force companies to disclose spending is good for democracy.”
Melanie Sloan and her CREW buddies are hardly "advocates for corporate political transparency." To the contrary, they are a core part of the left's effort to defund conservatives by getting corporations out of the campaign finance game (while allowing unions to continue funding the Democrat machine).
DiscoverTheNetwork.org reports that:
CREW was founded by Democrat activists Norm Eisen (an attorney) and Louis Mayberg (a prominent Democrat donor, and co-founder of the Maryland-based mutual fund management firm ProFund Advisors LLC). CREW’s "Form 990" IRS filing for 2001 lists Mayberg as one of its three Founding Directors; the other two are Daniel Berger (a high-profile Democrat donor who in 2004 made a $100,000 contribution to America Coming Together) and Mark Penn (a fellow at the New Politics Institute, and a top Democrat strategist and pollster who not only played a key role in Bill Clinton's 1996 presidential campaign, but also served as head of "message and strategy" for Hillary Clinton's 2000 Senate campaign).
CREW has received financial backing from the Arca Foundation, the David Geffen Foundation, Democracy Alliance, the Mayberg Family Charitable Foundation, the George Soros's Open Society Institute, the Sheller Family Foundation, the Streisand Foundation, the Tides Foundation, the Wallace Global Fund, and the Woodbury Fund -- all institutions distinguished by their support for far-left causes.
CREW’s Executive Director is Melanie Sloan, a longtime Democrat operative who previously served as Nominations Counsel for Joe Biden’s Senate Judiciary Committee (1993); Counsel for the Crime Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee for Charles Schumer (1994); Minority Counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee under John Conyers (1995-1998); and Assistant U.S. District Attorney for the District of Columbia (1998-2003).
ActivistCash.com likewise reports that:
An analysis of CREW’s “watchdog” activities reveals a systematic effort to disproportionately target Republicans and conservative-leaning groups with often-frivolous lawsuits, ethics complaints, and petitions for investigations by law enforcement agencies. An analysis of CREW’s activities demonstrates that it disproportionately targets conservatives by a ratio of more than 8-to-1.
The interesting question is why academics like Lucian Bebchuk of Harvard and Robert Jackson of Columbia, whose work Frankel cites with seeming approval, are giving cover and legitimacy to what is so obviously a political effort by the left to defund and delegitimize conservatives.