CORPORATIONS: The Agonies of Ashland

Ashland Oil Inc. Chairman Orin E. Atkins recently hung on his office wall a color portrait of Cartoonist Al Capp's renowned detective, Fearless Fosdick, Swiss-cheesed by bullet holes. Says Fosdick: "Fortunately, these are merely flesh wounds."

Atkins' fondness for the painting is easy to understand. During the past two years, Ashland has been convicted twice of violating the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 by making illegal corporate political contributions in the U.S., and also had been charged with filing misleading reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission that concealed payoffs to...

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