New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, withdrew shareholder proposals at Pacific Gas and Electric, Safeway and Sempra Energy after the companies agreed to disclose their corporate political spending, according to a statement from Thomas P. DiNapoli, New York state comptroller and sole trustee of the $140.3 billion pension fund.
The PG&E agreement also includes disclosure of the company's policies and procedures on lobbying activities.
The pension fund filed proposals at 14 other companies also calling for disclosure of corporate political spending. It is currently in discussions with officials at all 14 companies, according to the statement.
Brian Hertzog, PG&E director of corporate relations, said in an interview, “We had some discussions on what it is they were looking for, and ultimately we agreed to do that and they agreed to withdraw the proposal. I can confirm we have an agreement with them and will be enhancing our disclosure on this issue.”
Teena Massingill, Safeway public affairs director, in an e-mail, and Sabra Lattos, Sempra spokeswoman, in an interview, each confirmed the agreement at her respective company.
The pension fund reached its agreement with PG&E on Feb. 9; Safeway, Feb. 15; and Sempra, Feb. 13.
Mr. DiNapoli said in the statement the pension fund seeks “to ensure that companies are acting with the best interests of shareholders in mind when they engage in political action.”
The 14 other companies are AutoNation, Caterpillar, Comcast, CSX, Kroger, Lorillard, PepsiCo, Republic Services, Reynolds American, R.R. Donnelly & Sons, Southern, Union Pacific, Travelers and UnitedHealth, according to an e-mail from Eric Sumberg, spokesman for the comptroller's office.