Corporate boards have a responsibility to their shareholders, and generally those shareholders expect the corporate boards to maximize profits.
It’s hard, then, to reconcile that duty with Western Refining’s $50,000 contribution to the El Paso Rising PAC, supporting the El Paso Independent School District’s massive bond initiative.
According to the Central Appraisal District, the largest parcel of Western Refining’s properties paid $4,572,115.11 in taxes to the EPISD last year. Four and a half million is a lot of scratch, and that’s just one chunk of the properties that Western owns in the EPISD.
And according to the El Paso Rising Specific-Purpose Committee Campaign Finance Report (filed on Scribd.com by the El Paso Times), Western Refining contributed $50,000 to support the bond issue.
Which, if it passes, will raise Western Refining’s tax load even more. A lot more.
Now I’m no lawyer, but that looks to me like poor stewardship of the stockholders’ interests.
I’m no lawyer, but if I were a stockholder, I’d ask some questions. Like what the hell are you doing?
I’m no lawyer, but if I were, I might file a lawsuit.
But like I said, I’m no lawyer.
Edit: An updated version of the Campaign Finance Report was filed to reflect that Western Refining Chairman Paul Foster made the donation to the PAC, and not Western Refining.
I’m sure it’s a line item in their financials. A $50,000 expense probably isn’t material enough to Western Refining to require a special notification to shareholders.