SumOfUs aims to stop Bank of America donations

CHARLOTTE, NC: Consumer advocacy group SumOfUs has teamed with FitzGibbon Media on a campaign to stop Bank of America from making political contributions.

CHARLOTTE, NC: Consumer advocacy group SumOfUs has teamed with FitzGibbon Media on a campaign to stop Bank of America from making political contributions.

The firm is promoting a petition that demands the bank follow an upcoming shareholder resolution that would prohibit the use of corporate funding for election campaigns, candidates, and super PACs. The petition will be delivered to bank executives during a May 9 shareholder meeting. More than 75,000 people, some of them Bank of America employees and shareholders, have signed the document.

FitzGibbon is providing strategic media relations for the initiative, said Brett Abrams, media relations strategist at the agency.

“We make sure they have the opportunity to articulate the message of their members to the press and public at large," he said.

Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, founder and executive director of SumOfUs, noted that some consumers who have signed the petition have also promoted it on Facebook and Twitter.

“Citizens are particularly concerned about the influence big banks have over politicians,” she said. “From the bailout to the failure to pass serious financial reform, it's all related in that it's shown the power of the banks.”

Since the Supreme Court's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by corporations and unions, spending by outside groups is expected to grow exponentially in the 2012 election.  

A Bank of America representative declined to comment on the petition.

Last week, the financial institution said it will continue to work with PR agencies Weber Shandwick, Emanate, and Burson-Marsteller despite changing its marketing firms.

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