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Citing reputational risks and a need for greater transparency in how shareholder dollars are being spent,
"It is past time for Aetna to fully disclose its political and lobbying donations," DiNapoli said. "The company has engaged in controversial political giving that has harmed its reputation and potentially hurt shareholder value. Full disclosure of Aetna's political donations made with shareholder money is the only rational way for shareholders to assess the risks that funding partisan political donations poses to the bottom line."
The resolutions filed earlier this month by DiNapoli and the coalition are the first filed at Aetna since the company inadvertently disclosed
The AAN, headed by former
While excluding the AAN payment, Aetna did report in August a
Prior to the company's August report, DiNapoli and a larger coalition of institutional investors wrote to Aetna's board audit committee to urge the company to expand its public disclosure of political and lobbying payments, including all payments made indirectly through trade associations and other tax-exempt organizations such as the AAN and the U.S. Chamber.
Despite a public plea and a dialogue with the company that continued through the fall, Aetna still will not commit to making the disclosures requested by the coalition.
"We publicly called on Aetna in August to clarify how its contributions to the U.S. Chamber for 'voter education' further the long-term business interests of the company, its shareholders and its customers, and the company has yet to do so. We know even less about the AAN contribution," said
The UUA-led investor group's resolution is co-sponsored by the
DiNapoli's filing is the first of several shareholder resolutions that the Fund will sponsor in the coming year on the topic of disclosure of political spending. In 2012, the Fund reached agreement with seven companies to disclose political spending:
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