“60 Plus” Backs Weaker Shareholder Voice

A Washington, D.C. non-profit that purports to represent the interests of the elderly was recently described by Bloomberg News as mocking up grassroots support for policy changes by the Securities and Exchange Commission that weaken the voice of shareholders.

The group, 60 Plus, which uses elderly celebrity Pat Boone as a spokesperson, is funded by big corporate interests and has left its tracks in Alabama politics, lobbying against rate revisions by the Alabama Public Service Commission.

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton recently touted letters from grassroots supporters favoring a policy change that would make it more difficult for shareholders to question corporate board decisions on executive pay and on social issues.

Some of the purported letter writers disavow authorship and some of the letters carry electronic markers showing that they were produced by 60 Plus, reported Bloomberg.

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“More than two dozen” of the letters, said Bloomberg, “appear to have ties to 60 Plus, a member of the Main Street Investors Coalition. While the nonprofit group calls itself an advocate for senior citizens’ issues, it routinely takes money from corporations and advocates for their causes on issues as varied as sugar subsidies and Alabama utility commissioners.”

60 Plus has in the past bought radio and newspaper ads in Alabama, written op-ed pieces, and its representatives have appeared at meetings of the Public Service Commission opposing changes in rate policies. The group actively backed the candidate who, in 2016, successfully unseated PSC Commissioner Terry Dunn, who advocated changes in rate policy and rate reductions.

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