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NY pension fund sues Qualcomm over political spending

The New York State Common Retirement Fund has filed more than two dozen resolutions asking companies to disclose political spending and lobbying efforts

Corporate political donations have been a hot-button issue since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, which extended First Amendment rights to independent political spending on the part of corporations and unions. Now New York’s public pension fund has added another wrinkle to the debate with a lawsuit that attempts to force telecommunications company Qualcomm Inc. to disclose its political expenditures.

The New York State Common Retirement Fund, which reportedly owns $378 million of Qualcomm stock, says that the company rebuffed the fund’s request to review company records related to political spending. This is a problem because shareholders cannot see how much—and to what causes—companies are donating, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who oversees the pension fund, told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Alanna Byrne

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