Pension fund leveraged for political spending disclosure
Five U.S. companies will be disclosing their political giving after reaching an agreement with New York’s pension fund, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli on Thursday announced.
The disclosure agreement reached with the companies comes after the fund used its leverage as a shareholder to push for the change.
“America’s political system is so deeply divided that it is questionable whether it makes sense for corporations to spend any money at all on political causes,” DiNapoli said. “At a minimum, investors need full transparency and accountability on the use of corporate dollars to further political agendas so we can determine whether it furthers a company’s business strategy or puts it at risk. The businesses that have agreed to these disclosures are setting a good example for their peers to follow.”
The five companies that have agreement to disclose their campaign giving are Las Vegas Sands Corp., computer networking company VeriSign Inc., cruise operator Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., insurance company The Progressive Corp. and cosmetics retailer Ulta Beauty Inc. Meanwhile, a majority of shareholders at Twitter, Inc. have called for the company to disclose its political giving as well, DiNapoli said.
The comptroller’s office over the last decade has sought to use the pension fund’s investments in major U.S. firms to push political giving disclosure rules after court rulings have placed limits on when contributions to political causes and candidates must be revealed.