Rubio targets 'woke' companies with new bill granting more shareholder power to fight backSeptember 25, 2021
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Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio introduced a bill this week that would challenge corporate spending that uses shareholder dollars for "woke" social policy actions.
Legislation dubbed the "Mind Your Own Business Act," was introduced by the senator Thursday in response to large corporations taking political positions that potentially counter shareholder beliefs.
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"If you own a stock, invest in a mutual fund, have a company-sponsored 401k, then you are a shareholder and are owed legal duties by the corporations you invest in," Rubio wrote in an op-ed for Fox Business.
The Florida Republican pointed to controversial actions taken by companies like Nike and Coca-Cola that relied on their consumer prominence to take political stands.
Rubio said Gillette also cost its parent company "billions of dollars in revenue" following fierce backlash over a 2019 commercial that sought to highlight "toxic masculinity."
The senator argued that his legislation will "empower shareholders to take action when a company follows the latest woke, Marxist fads: boycotting a state, denying services to politically disfavored groups, or remaking their workforces to advance concepts like critical race theory."
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Rubio’s legislation would require corporations to prove that any political stances taken were for the benefit of their shareholders.
If the entity failed to prove shareholder interest, corporate officers would be held personally liable.
The senator said this step was crucial in assuring accountability.
Under current laws, shareholders are already able to sue corporate officers when actions are politically driven rather than fiscally motivated.
"But corporations have stacked the deck to make these lawsuits hopeless. They tweak provisions in their bylaws to protect themselves as they leave America behind," Rubio said.
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The GOP senator said his bill would not increase government regulation, but would instead empower shareholders to counter corporate politics in the social sphere.
"It is time that we, the people, take back our power from the mob and weak corporate leaders that kowtow to Marxists," he added.
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