New York State Common Retirement Fund withdrew shareholder proposals after reaching agreements with five companies on reporting their political spending, said a news release from Thomas P. DiNapoli, New York state comptroller and sole trustee of the Albany-based $178.3 billion pension fund.
“Investors have the legal right to know how corporate dollars are being spent in the political arena,” Mr. DiNapoli said in the release. “These companies should be commended for agreeing to voluntarily disclose their political expenditures. Transparency is vital for investors to determine whether corporate political spending benefits a company’s long-term value.”
Aaron Hunt, director, corporate communications, Union Pacific, said in an e-mail, “We received the proposal and plan to provide the requested information by mid-2016.”
Mike Doble, Raytheon spokesman, said company executives deferred to the fund officials for comment.
Spokeswomen Tammy Shoemaker, Coca-Cola Enterprises; Toni Beck, Waste Management; and Leticia Lowe, CenterPoint could not be reached for comment.
The fund has outstanding shareholder proposals on political spending disclosure at eight other companies in its investment portfolio: Aetna Inc., Express Scripts Holding Co., Johnson & Johnson, NextEra Energy Inc., NiSource Inc., The Travelers Cos. Inc., Western Union Co., and Wynn Resorts Ltd.