Seven more companies have agreed to adopt or expand their disclosure of political spending with corporate funds, the Center for Political Accountability and several of its shareholder advocate partners announced today.

The new agreements are with Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA), Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW), Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI), US Bancorp (NYSE: USB), El Paso Corp. (NYSE: EP), Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX), and Dominion Resources Inc. (NYSE: D). Dominion was engaged separately by Trillium Asset Management Corp., Cummins by Green Century Capital Management Inc., Dow Chemical by Mercy Investment Program, and US Bancorp by Calvert Asset Management Co. Inc. and Catholic Healthcare West.

This number of firms now embracing the center's corporate governance standard is at 60, 40 of which are part of the Standard & Poor's 100. The companies have agreed to disclose payments to trade associations and other tax-exempt organizations (501 (c)(4)s) that are used for political purposes in addition to their soft money contributions. "This is the new standard that brings transparency and accountability to the full range of company political spending," says Bruce Freed, the center's executive director.

Last July, the center and its shareholder advocate partners wrote to the 62 S&P 100 companies that had not yet adopted the center's framework for political disclosure. "We and our shareholder partners are urging your company to seriously consider adopting this new corporate governance standard before the new proxy season begins," the letter stated. Thirty-four companies responded and the center and its partners entered into dialogues with 27 companies. These dialogues led to the seven agreements announced today. Dominion Resources was not part of the letter-related dialogues.