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DiNapoli says KeyCorp to disclose political activities

By Tom Precious

ALBANY - KeyCorp will disclose all its political spending, announced state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who has been using his power as sole trustee of the giant state and local government pension fund to push companies for greater transparency in their political activities.

The Cleveland-based banking corporation, which has a contract to run the state government's checking account for payroll and vendor payments, made the deal after DiNapoli filed a shareholder resolution to press the disclosure.

The pension fund, working with other major public and private pension systems across the country, has been urging corporations to disclose political activities in the wake of the 2010 Citizens United decision by United States Supreme Court. The KeyCorp decision comes after DiNapoli sued Qualcomm Inc. to try to force it to disclose its political donations.

The New York State and Local Retirement System that DiNapoli runs, the third-largest public system in the nation, has about $150 million in assets and more than one million members, retirees and beneficiaries. The Buffalo News last year reported on DiNapoli’s increasing shareholder activism activities in corporate boardrooms around the world on a host of social and financial matters. DiNapoli on Tuesday said the fund would freeze its holdings in companies that manufacture guns.

“KeyCorp has taken a positive step for transparency and corporate accountability by agreeing to reveal its political contributions,” DiNapoli said. “When companies make their corporate political donations public, shareholders can evaluate if their interests are aligned with management's. More companies should follow the lead of KeyCorp and voluntarily disclose information that shareholders have a right to know.”

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

[email protected]


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

[email protected]


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | [email protected]


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | [email protected]

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