WASHINGTON, April 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Center for Public Policy Research will grill Johnson & Johnson executives over the firm's lobbying for bigger government Thursday, April 28 at the company's annual shareholder meeting in New Brunswick, New Jersey. National Center General Counsel Justin Danhof will demand specific answers about the company's pro-ObamaCare lobbying that Johnson & Johnson CEO William C. Weldon promised to provide but failed to do.
A National Center for Public Policy Research/FreedomWorks poll shows the pharmaceutical giant is vulnerable to a boycott by conservatives.
Johnson & Johnson's favorability among conservatives fell from 69 percent to 19 percent and from 60 percent to 8 percent among tea party activists after participants were informed of the company's lobbying or ObamaCare and cap-and-trade.
In addition to supporting Obama's health care takeover, Johnson & Johnson is a member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a left-wing lobbying coalition formed to promote job-killing global warming regulations such as cap-and-trade.
"From the ObamaCare bill to cap-and-trade legislation, President Obama has been able to count on Johnson & Johnson for aid and comfort. By supporting Obama's economically disastrous policies, Johnson & Johnson is working to increase the power and scope of the federal government at the expense of American liberties and values. Weldon should explain why he is risking Johnson & Johnson's reputation, goodwill and shareholder value to promote a big-government agenda," said Danhof.
Johnson & Johnson is a member of the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), which aggressively lobbied for President Obama's health care takeover. At last year's Johnson & Johnson shareholder meeting, Weldon promised National Center Free Enterprise Project Director Dr. Tom Borelli that the firm would disclose precisely how much shareholder money his company spent promoting the ObamaCare legislation.
"Despite repeated requests from the National Center and his own pledge in front of shareholders last year, Weldon still refuses to release those figures. It is time for Weldon to come clean with company stakeholders - many of whom undoubtedly oppose the ObamaCare agenda," said Danhof.
At last year's shareholder meeting, Weldon told Dr. Borelli, "I don't think there is any reputational damage" due to the company's lobbying for ObamaCare's passage.
"The poll numbers don't lie. Tea party activists and conservatives have indicated a willingness to vote with their wallets and forgo Johnson & Johnson products. That could result in real economic loss for shareholders. Weldon needs to explain why he continues to oversee Johnson & Johnson's support of President Obama's unpopular policies instead of upholding his fiduciary duty and protecting the shareholders' investments in the company he is tasked to run," Danhof stated.
To view a transcript of CEO Weldon's conversation with Dr. Borelli at the 2010 shareholder meeting and subsequent communications, see: http://www.nationalcenter.org/ObamacareLobbying.pdf
For more details on the National Center for Public Policy Research/FreedomWorks poll, see: http://www.nationalcenter.org/teapartysurvey.pdf
SOURCE National Center for Public Policy Research