Public Fund Officials Demand Political Contribution Disclosures

August 25, 2004 ( - In the latest example of continuing activism by institutional investors, an 11-member group of state and city investment officers on Wednesday called for publicly traded companies to be forced to disclose their political contributions.

The group called on the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to require the annual disclosure of contributions at the national, state, and local levels, to candidates, political parties and their conventions, ballot measure campaigns, issue ad campaigns and all independent political committees, including independent 527 organizations.

“Shareholders have a right to know how the companies they own are using their money in the political arena,” the investment officials wrote in a  letter to SEC Chairman William Donaldson.  “We ask you and your fellow SEC commissioners to let the sun shine on corporate contributions so that the tens of millions of shareholders in America’s public companies can know how their money is being used in the nation’s political life.”


A corporation’s record of political contributions “is potentially valuable additional information about a company’s values, business strategy, and future prospects,” the officials continued. “For those funds and individuals who want to make sure their investments are consistent with their values, full disclosure is a vital ingredient in their investment decisions.”

The group includes:

  • Oregon Treasurer Randall Edwards
  • Iowa Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald
  • Sean Harrigan, president, California Public Employees’ Retirement System
  • New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi
  • Maine Treasurer Dale McCormick
  • Kentucky Treasurer Jonathan Miller
  • North Carolina Richard Moore
  • Connecticut Treasurer Denise Nappier
  • Vermont Treasurer Jeb Spaulding
  • New York City Comptroller William Thompson, Jr.
  • California Treasurer Phil Angelides.