In Which We Hear (Indirectly) from Main Street Investors Coalition and Get a Surprising Claim About Their Views on Climate Change

When our post on the SEC Proxy Roundtable was reprinted on the Conference Board’s corporate governance blog, it elicited a response from Main Street Investors Coalition advisory board member Bernard Sharfman, who challenged our assertion that the corporate-funded fake front group led by a former energy industry lobbyist is a climate change denier.

We have responded:

Thanks for responding to my comment on the SEC’s proxy roundtable and MSIC.  I’m delighted to hear that MSIC does not consider itself to be climate change deniers and I look forward to hearing more. It is not at all clear from MSIC’s vague and misleading accusations about “political” votes by fund managers and recommendations by proxy advisors. So, MSIC endorses non-binding shareholder resolutions about climate change?  What does MSIC consider “political” or, in your use of the term, unconnected to analysis of investment risk?
Specifically, what shareholder votes are of concern to MSIC?  What votes do you believe were improper or detrimental and how do you calculate that?  Do you get funding directly or indirectly from the Koch brothers or other groups opposing progress on climate change?  I see that Mr. Banks has a new group that hopes to be constructive on climate change (my, he’s busy!) but his background as an energy lobbyist has me a bit skeptical.
I have some more questions about MSIC here. I welcome your thoughts and would be happy to publish your response, though of course I reserve the right to reply.
We will keep you posted of any comments or clarifications they send us.

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