New York State’s $150-billion public pension fund has sued Qualcomm, seeking to force the chipmaker to reveal its political spending, according to the state comptroller.
The suit was filed late on Wednesday in Delaware Court of Chancery, after Qualcomm refused the request by the New York State Common Retirement Fund — a Qualcomm shareholder — to inspect records detailing the use of corporate resources for political activities, said state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who oversees the fund.
“Without disclosure, there is no way to know whether corporate funds are being used in ways that go against shareholder interests,” DiNapoli, a Democrat who is up for re-election in 2014, said in a statement.
The suit opens a new front in the fight over corporate political spending, which has risen dramatically since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United.
That decision lifted restrictions on corporate political spending and led in part to an unprecedented $6 billion of spending on the recently held U.S. elections.
While other companies have agreed to increase their disclosure of political spending, Qualcomm has not…
Since at least August 2012, the pension fund has repeatedly attempted to get the information from Qualcomm, but the company has refused to divulge it, the suit claimed.
New York’s pension fund is “concerned that it cannot determine whether senior executives and directors of Qualcomm are spending corporate resources to support their favored political candidates” or on causes that aren’t focused on boosting shareholder value, the complaint said.
Other sources show that in 2012, Qualcomm spent more than $4.7 million on federal lobbying efforts, according to the complaint.
Delightful. Glad to see this approach/attack getting started.
Ever since the conservative flunkies on the Supreme Court decided “corporations are people, too” – and started the tsunami of corporate cash flowing into the coffers of SuperPACS – the American electorate has been stymied by Congressional hacks. This tactic is one that has been considered as having the potential to lift the veil of secrecy the same “justices” obediently handed over.
RTFA for the details.