"We reached new milestones this past shareholder season and grew the roster of corporations that disclose their political spending," DiNapoli said. "Spending shareholder dollars on politics can be a risky business. When it's done in the shadows it may result in spending that is contrary to the company's long-term interests and cause real damage to a company's reputation. Investors need increased daylight and transparency to reduce those risks."
DiNapoli has made disclosure of political spending a top shareholder priority. His proposals asked companies to disclose their spending on candidates, political parties, ballot measures, any direct or indirect state and federal lobbying, "grassroots lobbying communications," payments to any trade associations used for political purposes, and payments made to any organization that writes and endorses model legislation. Reporting of political spending helps shareholders evaluate whether money is being spent on objectives that foster long-term value.
This year the Fund withdrew its shareholder proposal from
DiNapoli's proposal received strong support from fellow shareholders at several other companies, and received majority votes at
"Investors have made it clear that they are concerned about political spending and want to know how their dollars are spent on lobbying," DiNapoli said. "We hope and expect that companies will respond to shareholders' overwhelming desire for disclosure and take the appropriate steps."
The Fund's proposal also received significant support from shareholders at
To date, the Fund has reached political spending disclosure agreements with the following companies:
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