Musings from the corporate campaign trail
filed by AAG candidate Steve Nieman
updated Friday, May 12, 2006
Are we having FUN yet??
Unfortunately in this contested election at the AAG, communication between company management and the CHALLENGERS has not been the best. Two of the three candidates are regular old workers. You'd think we were pirates, like Carl Icahn and T. Boone Pickens taking on the AAG as a fearsome twosome... with Richard Foley slowly rumbling up from behind...
I am not privy to exact events and how they unfolded, but the bottom line is a fax number for CHALLENGER proxies has now been provided by Vanguard/ADP (631-254-7622). And just as important, the AAG 401(k) worker voting deadline has been EXTENDED to 11:59 pm on Monday, May 15, 2006, which is the day before the annual shareholders meeting. This was due to a long, sorry story; maybe I'll have time to tell you about it at the stockholders meeting next Tuesday. Just a small matter of management delivering proxy materials on time...
You can access our ballot cards and VIFs at our website portal, www.votepal.com/.
And more specifically click on:
We're really getting tight on time here, so voting by fax for the AAG CHALLENGERS would be the best for all categories of stockholders. Workers now have the option to fax directly to the ADP fax number above.
Read our proxy statement for detailed instructions on how tickle-y it is to vote for the CHALLENGERS.
Those responding to our Internet-only solicitation –– THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO PROPERLY VOTE OUR PROXY FOR US!!
Steve Nieman, candidate.
Again, mail or fax all your CHALLENGER proxies to the postal address below.
The AAG CHALLENGER PROXY COMMITTEE
c/o Steve Nieman
Brush Prairie, WA 98606
Fax to us at:
From today's ISS Governance Weekly
Meetings to Watch
This section alerts readers to forthcoming shareholder meetings that have
particularly interesting or controversial issues on the agenda.
Company: Alaska Air Group
When: May 16, 2006
Why: The company, which has been criticized in the past by investors for ignoring
various shareholder resolutions that won majority support, has made a series
of governance changes this year. In March, Alaska Air adopted a bylaw to
require a majority vote in uncontested board elections. Management also is
sponsoring a proposal to declassify its board. The board also acted to
dismantle supermajority voting rules, amending its bylaws to permit bylaw
changes by a majority vote, and is sponsoring a resolution to eliminate an
80 percent requirement for transactions.
Greetings AAG Stock/Stakeholders and Observers,
Well, it's been another grinding preparation, but campaign year four has finally kicked off for the 2006 AAG CHALLENGERS. We are actively electronically seeking proxies via the Internet at www.votepal.com/.
The U.S. SEC finished its review of our proxy statement and materials, and we filed our Definitive Proxy Statement last Friday. You can access the proxy statement and our ballot/voting instruction form (VIF) at:
It's also available at the SEC EDGAR site at:
Unfortunately, we were again delayed by various factors, which allows precious little time to solicit and collect proxies before the polls close at the AAG's shareholders meeting in Seattle on May 16, 2006. Every year we learn more, and these campaigns hopefully will get easier and more streamlined so that in future contests Challenger candidates will have more time to interact with the true owners of corporations –– its shareholders. It's particularly important to have the time to contact large institutional shareholders, who beneficially hold and vote most stock owned by Americans, including about 85% of AAG shares. We wish we had more time to talk to them about our business plan to broaden ownership and ownership rights for workers/customers, and move the corporate and regulatory system toward more openness and transparency so it can better serve everyone, particularly individuals in our failing pension and Social Security systems.
Fellow colleague/candidate Richard Foley and I are also amassing experience so we can help other stockholders run proxy contests at other companies. We are currently assisting another Challenger group at General Motors.
The AAG bylaw changes that the board adopted earlier this year combined with votes on this year's proposals may mean that stakeholders will eventually be able to run a slate for all twelve seats, which will become available every year after the AAG board (as anticipated) declassifies later this year. This should make it much easier for the strategic stakeholders of workers and customers to gain at least a minority share of power on the board.
How much more convincing does anyone need? If stakeholders are empowered and allowed to work together with their labor, patronage and investment, they can much more consistently produce profits that all can justly share in. This addresses the ever-climbing fixed wages of workers that slaves them to a system that continually drives their companies toward instability in a global marketplace.
We've made some strides to streamline voting processes for voting for the AAG CHALLENGERS. But it's still overly complicated, in our opinion. Our voting instructions are printed in our proxy statement on pages 4-10, and on our proxy cards and VIFs accessible from our proxy statement on votepal.com and EDGAR.
To AAG stockholders accessing our material via the World Wide Web, we'd appreciate your vote! If you've ever paid close attention to detail, you're going to have to REALLY be careful when you vote our proxy. Any questions, contact us through the info provided below.
We're sorry to report that the worker 401(k) vote has again gotten sullied this year. As far as we can determine at this point in time, AAG management via their proxy mailer ADP, electronically sent the company's proxy materials to company employee email addresses that most workers did not know they had. Plus, company management has yet to instruct workers that this is how the materials were sent, or how to access these accounts in order to vote. These emails contain an attachment from the 401(k) administrator Vanguard that instructs workers how they can vote for the AAG CHALLENGERS, two of whom are fellow plan participants.
We are going down various governmental channels to address this problem. Unfortunately, time is running out, because the voting deadline for workers is May 14.
Rome, Seattle, Portland weren't built in a day.
We've entered the fun phase, campaigning and talking to people. We'll report more from the corporate campaign trail during the upcoming week.
Thanks to all for your support and encouragement.
2006 Candidate for the AAG board