Emerson participates in the political process through the Company's federal and Missouri political action committees and direct Company contributions. Emerson and the Emerson political action committees are non-partisan. Contributions are made to political candidates and causes to promote the Company's objectives and to support pro-manufacturing, pro-business and pro-economic growth policies. Issues important to Emerson include trade, taxes, energy, healthcare, environment and legal liability, to name but a few.
Both the Company and the PAC boards base their contribution decisions on what they believe to be sound public policy and in the best interests of the Company. They consider the views, quality and effectiveness of the candidate, organization or cause, and whether the candidate or cause is likely to succeed. They also review organizations and individuals associated with proposed recipients to determine whether the positions taken by those organizations or individuals could be inconsistent with Emerson's interests.
As part of its oversight role for Company political activities, the Board Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee oversees policies and practices related to the Company's political spending. The Committee approves an annual contribution limit on expenditures to support state and local political candidates, as well as those for campaigns, ballot issues and bonds. The annual contribution limit is $1,000,000. The Committee receives a report annually on all of the Company's political spending.
All Company political expenditures are initially reviewed by Emerson's government affairs office in Washington, D.C. Proposed contributions are then reviewed by the office of the General Counsel to assure legal compliance. Final authorization is required from the Chief Executive Officer.
U.S. law prohibits companies from contributing to candidates for federal office, but many states allow corporate contributions to state and local candidates, political organizations and ballot issues.
For fiscal 2015, Emerson contributed a total of $49,100 to state and local political candidates, and federal, state and local campaigns and ballot issues and bonds. The recipients and amounts of those contributions are detailed in our Political Contributions Report.
Emerson has established two PACs, a federal PAC called the Emerson Responsible Government Fund and a state PAC called the Emerson Missouri Responsible Government Fund. The state and federal PACs are separate and nonpartisan. The federal PAC is a voluntary fund supported by contributions from Emerson employees and retirees who elect to participate in the political process by pooling their resources to support candidates who share the values and goals of the Company. This fund supports federal candidates and other candidates where permitted in accordance with law. The Missouri fund is supported by Company contributions to support candidates in Missouri. Both of these PACs may make contributions to party organizations where permitted in accordance with law and their Bylaws.
The Emerson Washington, DC office generates a list of candidates these PACs can support based on the PAC giving criteria, requests from third parties and suggestions from PAC members. Outside legal counsel then conducts a review of proposed disbursements. Separate boards made up of Emerson employees set overall contribution budgets and approve all contributions by each PAC. The PAC boards retain counsel to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Each PAC undergoes an independent annual audit and legal review.
The Federal Election Commission regulates activities of the Emerson Responsible Government Fund. Details of contributions to and disbursements from this fund are available at www.fec.gov, by searching for Emerson Responsible Government Fund at the Campaign Finance Disclosure Portal Link.
In fiscal 2015, Emerson contributed $39,100 to the Emerson Missouri Responsible Government Fund. A list of contributions by this fund is available on the Missouri Ethics Commission website at www.mec.mo.gov.
Reports for the last 18 months can be viewed at the following links: