CalSTRS eyes tougher political disclosure for companies
By Barry B. Burr | September 8, 2011 3:12 pm
CalSTRS is considering a corporate governance policy calling for companies in which it invests to disclose annually their political spending and full board of directors oversight of such expenditures or face potential shareholder proposals on the issue, said Ricardo Duran, spokesman for the $152.7 billion system.
The investment committee, which is made up of the entire board of the California State Teachers' Retirement System, West Sacramento, directed staff on Wednesday to revise a draft policy proposal for a possible vote at its Nov. 3 meeting.
A new policy “would give the corporate governance folks the liberty to draft shareholder proposals,” calling for disclosure and board oversight of political spending, Mr. Duran said.
Bill Lockyer, California treasurer and a trustee of both CalSTRS and the $227 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, sent letters June 1 to both systems asking them to adopt proxy-voting policies to support such disclosure.
CalSTRS has generally supported greater transparency of political spending, Mr. Duran said. The proposal would formalize the practice into corporate governance policies.