Political Contributions Policy and Procedures
Union Pacific Railroad operates in 23 states across the western two-thirds of the United States. As a result, the decisions of federal, state, and local governments affect Union Pacific on a daily basis. Proposals to change existing laws, new laws, and new policy initiatives can impact Union Pacific's business, and in turn affect its employees, retirees, the communities in which it is located, and its shareholders. Union Pacific believes it is appropriate to actively participate in this process, both at a policy making level and through the political process.
Union Pacific takes seriously its role as a good corporate citizen and fully complies with all federal, state, and local requirements associated with participating in the policy making and political process. This compliance includes reports to the Federal Election Commission on receipts and disbursements from the Company's political action committee (PAC), the Union Pacific Fund for Effective Government (FFEG), as well as all applicable reporting and registration requirements at all levels of government.
As part of the Company’s government relations program, the Company participates in the political process through political contributions. On a bipartisan basis, Union Pacific supports candidates on the federal, state and local level whose views are consistent with the Company’s public policy agenda and business issues and not based on executive political preference. Union Pacific is aligned with the values, policies and issues found in its annual Building America Report. The information below describes and lists political contributions made by Union Pacific Corporation and contributions made by FFEG. The information provided below also describes certain nondeductible payments to trade associations and other tax-exempt organizations.
We anticipate that we will update this voluntary disclosure twice a year and publish it on our Company's website.
Corporate Contributions to Candidates, Committees, Political Organizations & Ballot Measures
Although federal law prohibits companies from contributing to candidates for federal office, many states allow corporate contributions to state and local candidates, committees, and political organizations, including tax-exempt organizations. Union Pacific has a comprehensive oversight process to ensure that political contributions are made in a legal and ethical manner that best represents the interests of the Company, its employees and its shareholders.
Corporate political contributions are made pursuant to the Company's Delegation of Authority, as established by the Board of Directors, which requires that all corporate contributions be reviewed and approved by the Senior Vice President-Corporate Relations or the Vice President-Public Affairs. The aggregate budget for corporate political contributions is determined annually by the Senior Vice President-Corporate Relations and the Chief Executive Officer.
In addition, a multi-step process is used to determine the how the budget for corporate political contributions is spent. This process consists of a Company's State Public Affairs Director making contribution requests to his or her Vice President-Public Affairs for review and approval. Before contributions are made, a third party vendor validates the donation complies with applicable finance laws.
Finally, Union Pacific's Board of Directors receives annual briefings on corporate-wide political spending and, as part of its oversight role, the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee reviews, at least annually, the Company's political contributions.
Click here for a list of the Company's 2016 contributions to state and local candidates, political committees and political organizations, including tax exempt organizations, and payments to influence the outcome of ballot measures. The Company does not make independent political expenditures to support or oppose any candidate or political party.
Union Pacific Fund for Effective Government
Union Pacific has also established a separate segregated fund under federal law, the Union Pacific Fund for Effective Government (FFEG). FFEG is organized on a strictly voluntary, bipartisan basis and is registered with the Federal Election Commission. Union Pacific encourages its employees to participate actively in community and civic and affairs, and all eligible employees may contribute to FFEG.
FFEG's political contributions are reported monthly to the Federal Election Commission. Detailed information about these contributions can be accessed on the U.S. Federal Election Commission website at http://www.fec.gov.
The Company's Vice President-External Relations is the registered treasurer and oversees the administration of FFEG. In conjunction with this oversight, FFEG contributions are subject to a robust internal review process:
- An eleven person steering committee meets throughout the year to set and review FFEG contributions;
- FFEG contributions are reviewed to ensure they represent the best interests of the Company, its employees and its shareholders; and
- Checks drawn against FFEG's account must be signed by three authorized officers.
Additionally, internal and external controls exist to ensure Company compliance with federally mandated contribution limits.
Click Here for a list of the FFEG 2016 contributions to federal, state and local candidates and political committees.
Participation in Trade Associations
Union Pacific belongs to rail industry trade associations and other trade organizations that represent an array of professional and industrial interests. These organizations provide a forum to allow members to focus on issue advocacy and promote best practices in safety, operations and business.
The trade associations in which the Company participates may engage in lobbying activities. Union Pacific makes reasonable efforts to track and report payments to trade associations that may be used for lobbying that would not be deductible under the Internal Revenue Code. Union Pacific has requested information regarding lobbying expenses from trade associations that received total dues or payments of $25,000 or more from Union Pacific and who spend more than 10% of their revenues on lobbying activities.
Click here for a list showing the Company's 2016 payments to trade associations as well as payments made during the last four years, where the trade association received total dues or payments of $25,000 or more from Union Pacific and the trade association spends more than 10% of its revenues on lobbying activities.
Union Pacific engages in lobbying in the United States at both the federal and state levels to advocate positions that affect the Company and the railroad industry. To advocate its position, the Company relies on government affairs professionals, assisted as needed by subject-matter experts. Only authorized employees and contract lobbyists may engage in lobbying activities on behalf of the Company.
Federal and state law requires Union Pacific to report expenditures associated with activities that support lobbying. The Company files all required quarterly and semi-annual reports pursuant to the federal Lobbying Disclosure Act with the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. These reports are publicly available and provide information on activities affecting legislation through communication with any member or employee of a legislative body or with any covered executive branch official. As required by law, these reports also disclose the Company's lobbying expenditures, describe specific pieces of legislation that were the topic of communication and identify the individuals who lobbied on behalf of the Company. The Company also files similar periodic reports as required by state agencies reflecting lobbying activities at the state level, which are also publicly available.
- U.S. House of Representatives Reports - http://clerk.house.gov
- U.S. Senate Reports - http://www.senate.gov
Compliance in the Government Relations Program
Union Pacific is committed to compliance with all applicable laws relating to our involvement in the political process. All financial contributions adhere to federal, state and local laws regarding contribution limits and reporting requirements.
All political spending reflects the Company's or FFEG's interests, and not those of individual officers or directors. Political candidates, office holders and trade associations may support positions that align with some of Union Pacific's interests but conflict with other interests. In such cases, the Company determines its involvement on areas of mutual agreement that it believes will have the greatest benefit to Union Pacific. Contributions by the Company or FFEG are a matter of public record and information is available through the Federal Election Commission at http://www.fec.gov and state campaign finance reports.
Oversight by the Board of Directors
As part of its oversight role, the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee of the Company's Board of Directors reviews, at least annually, the Company's political contributions.