Comptroller Sues Tech Giant Qualcomm Over Corporate Political Spending

Thursday, January 03, 2013

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is suing Qualcomm in an attempt to compel the wireless technology company to disclose the details of its political spending. 

DiNapoli is sole trustee of the state's $150 billion pension fund for public workers, which holds 6.1 million Qualcomm shares currently worth about $378 million. 

Qualcomm spent $4.74 million on lobbying efforts in 2012, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

In the suit filed Wednesday, the comptroller seeks access to the company's record books in order to determine which causes, candidates or organizations the money went to.

"If it's supporting causes or candidates that could be detrimental to the company, and by extension, to our investment, that's a concern," DiNapoli said in an interview. 

The lawsuit cites studies showing corporate political spending tends to hurt investor returns.

Qualcomm has not responded to a request for comment.


The New York state Comptroller's office is suing wireless tech giant Qualcomm to get the company to disclose its political spending. 
Thomas DiNapoli is sole trustee of New York's pension fund for public workers, which is a large Qualcomm shareholder. 
[CutID: <DAVID:DigaSystem\NEWS>PB8-NEWS-H15B_F04622494E9F43AEA80EF0DFE48E31C9.WAV
Time: 8s
Title: news20120103_Qualcomm_DiNapoli1
Out-cue: ][DINAPOLI: The question is, if we don't know what kind of spending they're involved in, we don't know what they've been doing. So it's really a basic question of disclosure that they've been evading.]
New York's pension fund holds 6-point-1 million shares of Qualcomm valued at almost 380 million dollars. 
DiNapoli wants detail on Qualcomm's 4-point-5 million on lobbying last year to determine whether it's a sound investment. 
Qualcomm has not responded to a request for comm


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