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April 16, 2013

 

DiNapoli Joins with 500,000 Americans to Urge SEC to Require Disclosure of Corporate Political Spending

The Corporate Reform Coalition calls on newly confirmed SEC Chair Mary Jo White to act now to require disclosure of corporate political spending.  A record-breaking 500,000 investors and members of the public have submitted comments supporting the rule, demonstrating the importance of this issue.  Chair White should seize this pivotal opportunity to safeguard shareholders by providing them with information necessary for their investing decisions.

In a telephone press conference today, coalition members urged the agency to move swiftly on the rule in response to the overwhelming investor concern.

In December, the agency announced that it would consider the proposed rule to require that public companies provide disclosure to shareholders regarding the use of corporate resources for political activities. A petition requesting this rulemaking was filed in 2011 by a bipartisan committee of leading law professors. 

Investors have deluged the SEC with half a million comments urging the agency to act to protect their investments. These comments have come from such diverse sources as John Bogle (former CEO of the Vanguard Group), U.S. Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mike Capuano (D-MA) and 70 other members of the House, more than a dozen U.S. Senators, five state treasurers, the Maryland State Retirement Agency, US SIF:  The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, the Sustainable Investments Institute, a large group of firms managing more than $690 billion in assets, and many, many more.

“Shareholders have a right to know how the companies in their investment portfolio are spending their invested money, especially where these actions are outside the scope of normal business activities, or where the interests of shareholders and management may diverge.  The SEC should act now to protect investors.” stated New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, trustee of the state’s $152.9 billion Common Retirement Fund.  

To see the original release, click here.

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