During the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting on Saturday in Omaha, Peter Flaherty had his microphone cut, was arrested, and forcibly removed from the arena.
Flaherty is the Chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), which was the sponsor of Proposal #8 to “require hereafter that two separate people hold the office of the Chairman and the office of the CEO.”
In support of this resolution for an independent chair, Flaherty attempted to assert that Berkshire “would be less identified with Mr. Buffett’s personal political activities,” and cited Buffett’s support for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among other factors.
Resolution proponents were allowed three minutes each to speak in support of their proposals. Three other proponents spoke before Flaherty without interruption, including Michael Frerichs, Treasurer of Illinois.
Video of the event shows that at 1:08 into his remarks, Flaherty was approached and interrupted at the microphone. It was by Cathy Woollums, a Berkshire official who was a designated liaison with proponents for the meeting. Not audible through the sound system, Woollums told Flaherty that he should stay “on topic.”
Flaherty stated into the microphone, “You are not going to censor what I say, ma’am. I’m very sorry. And I appeal to the Chair (occupied by Warren Buffett) that I be allowed to continue. Sir?”
Buffett stated, “You may continue but under the three-minute limitation.” Flaherty replied, “Of course,” and resumed speaking at the 1:28 mark until the 2:04 mark when his mike went dead.
At the 1:55 mark Warren Buffett attempted to start talking over Flaherty and appeared to give direction to other persons in the hall. This portion of Flaherty’s remarks concerned Bill Gates’ relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.
Immediately, two representatives of Clark International Security approached and stood in front of Flaherty. He was told to leave or he would be arrested. Flaherty replied that he would leave when he finished his statement. At this point, Flaherty was not fully aware that his mike had been cut, was still under the three-minute limitation, and had already received a favorable ruling from the chair.
One of the Clark representatives summoned a uniformed Omaha policeman who was nearby and requested that he arrest Flaherty. He grabbed Flaherty by the arm, advised him that he was under arrest, and led him from the arena. Flaherty was transported by Omaha police to the Douglas County Corrections Center where he was searched, handcuffed, and charged with criminal trespass.
Here is a transcript of what transpired before the microphone went dead:
I am Peter Flaherty, Chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center.
If we had an independent chair, the Company would be less identified with Mr. Buffett’s political activities.
He’s donated tens of billions to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As Bill Gates explained when the couple was still together, “although the foundation bears our names, basically half our resources have come from Warren Buffett.”
If “woke” culture is a disease, then philanthropy is the virus.
The Gates Foundation bankrolls the teaching of Critical Race Theory around the country, including that math is inherently racist.
The Gates Foundation offers a Gender Identity Toolbox which asserts that gender is the result of “socially and culturally constructed ideas.”
This is a lie. Gender is not a cultural construct. It is a genetic and biological fact.
1:08 WOOLLUMS INTERRUPTION
You are not going to censor what I say, ma’am. I’m very sorry. And I appeal to the Chair that I be allowed to continue. Sir?”
1:20 BUFFETT: “YOU MAY CONTINUE BUT UNDER THE THREE-MINUTE LIMITATION.”
Of Course. We know how much Bill Gates cares about children. He met and traveled with Jeffrey Epstein many times after Epstein was convicted of sex crimes.
The Gates Foundation had a huge influence over the COVID response fiasco.
Bill Gates defended China’s COVID policies and still discounts the possibility that the virus originated from a lab, even though U.S. intelligence agencies disagree.
The Gates Foundation may be the largest single donor to the “dark money” machine known as Arabella Associates.
1:54 BUFFETT TALKS OVER FLAHERTY (UNINTELLIGLBLE)
It funds causes like defunding the police that are making American cities unlivable.
Money goes, too, to groups conducting...
2:04 MICROPHONE GOES DEAD
NLPC filed a proxy memo in support of its resolution on April 21.
NLPC was the filer of a similar proposal for an independent chair last year at Berkshire when Flaherty spoke in support of the resolution without incident. The proposal received support from diverse shareholders including the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS).
NLPC sponsors the Corporate Integrity Project and has engaged in shareholder activism since 2004. In 2023, NLPC is the proponent of proposals at 26 companies on a variety of topics.
NLPC-filed proposals for an independent chair were also considered this year at Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Goldman-Sachs, Home Depot, Mondelez, PepsiCo, Salesforce, and Visa.
Since 2004, Flaherty has spoken at the annual meetings of dozens of companies including Alphabet, Amazon, Bank of America, Boeing, Citigroup, Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Goldman Sachs, Merck, Facebook (now Meta), PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble and Walmart. In connection to NLPC proposals, he has met with many corporate executives over the years, including then-PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi and then-GE CEO Jeff Immelt.
Founded in 1991, NLPC promotes ethics in public life and government accountability through research, investigation, education, and legal action.
National Legal and Policy Center