Letter to the Editor: Companies Have Right to Engage in Political Process

Regarding “Activist shareholders want full disclosure” (Business, May 6): Shareholder proposals calling for greater disclosure regarding “lobbying” sound reasonable until one considers the aim of most of the activists calling for such disclosure: to undermine companies' right to engage the political process and to defend their interests. The view that economic voices are somehow less legitimate than others poses great danger to our democracy. If economic voices are driven from the policy debates, we're left only with the often shrill voices of ideologues.

And, history shows, the greatest dangers to civil society come from ideologues who believe their views to be the only legitimate ones. Moves to clutter the meeting agenda of public companies in anticipation of gaining a negotiated capitulation are increasing throughout America. They should be resisted. We would all lose if the market were to be driven out of the marketplace of ideas.