The National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project (FEP) is asking Alphabet, Google's parent company, to explain the logic behind some "questionable" grants.
The FEP asks shareholders to vote for Proposal No. 10 during Alphabet's shareholder meeting Wednesday that would require the company to publish a transparency report. It would increase accountability and could help Alphabet avoid unnecessary controversies, according to a letter written to shareholders by National Center General Counsel and FEP Director Justin Danhof.
He wrote in a statement that Alphabet should provide additional transparency around the company's funding for "those endeavors that provide a benefit to the communities and initiatives germane to the company or that create general goodwill."
Danhof finds it difficult to see how donations to groups like the Clinton Foundation and the Center for American Progress fit within the criteria for donations. He is asking shareholders to vote for proposal No. 10 at Alphabet's shareholders meeting that takes place Wednesday.
FEP's Proposal No. 10 asks the company to provide an annual report that discloses the company's standards for choosing recipients of company assets in the form of charitable contributions. It also asks for the company to explain the business rationale and purpose for each of the charitable contributions, and for the names of those asking for the contribution and the benefits to society. It also wants Alphabet to publish a follow-up report confirming the contribution was made for the stated purpose.
In Danhof's prepared comments for the Alphabet meeting, he notes that Alphabet's donation to the Center for American Progress is highly controversial. Under the direction of John Podes, CAP, which has been accused of anti-Semitism, "wrote the blueprint for the Obama Administration's expansion of executive power."
Alphabet, most recently, lodged complaints about the same use of executive power now with President Donald Trump in office. Podes later became chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
This is nothing new for the National Center for Public Policy Research's FEP. The activist group has presented similar proposals at Apple and GE meetings. It also has presented proposals on reporting return on investments for Google's energy projects and disclosing conflicts of interests.
In 2013, The FEP approached google about the issue of gun ads on the Google Ad platform as President Obama heated up discussions of controversial gun laws in the U.S.