Mattel Inc. agrees to disclose political spending following pressure from NY State Comptroller

DiNapoli Reaches Agreement With Mattel Inc. on Political Spending Disclosure
 Mattel Inc., one of the world’s largest toy manufacturers, has agreed to the New York State Common Retirement Fund’s (Fund) request that they publicly report on and adopt board oversight of all direct and indirect corporate political spending.
The Fund holds shares of Mattel with an estimated market value of $21.6 million as of Jan. 31, 2018. Mattel’s portfolio includes Barbie, Hot Wheels, American Girl and Fisher-Price brand products.

As a result of the agreement, the Fund withdrew the shareholder proposal it had filed for consideration at the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting.

“The Mattel agreement brings to 161 the number of companies that have reached political disclosure and accountability agreements with shareholders,” said Bruce Freed, president of the Center for Political Accountability which has worked with the Fund since 2011 to make this policy the norm.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling in 2010, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has said he has made it a priority to engage the State’s Retirement Fund’s portfolio companies to disclose their political spending.

The shareholder proposals filed by the Fund ask companies for comprehensive and public reports that list their corporate spending on candidates, political parties, ballot measures, any direct or indirect state and federal lobbying, payments to any trade associations used for political purposes, and payments made to any organization that writes and endorses model legislation.

Last year, DiNapoli filed a shareholder proposal on behalf of the Fund that asked Mattel to report annually on its monetary and non-monetary corporate political contributions and expenditures, as well as the amount paid to political candidates, parties, organizations and committees.

The proposal was withdrawn when Mattel agreed to post corporate political expenditure information to its website starting with 2017 spending data.

Three dozen companies have adopted or agreed to adopt political spending disclosure procedures pursuant to an agreement with the Fund or as a result of a significant shareholder vote in support of the Fund’s proposal:

Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.
Nisource Inc.

J.M. Smucker Co.
Centerpoint Energy
Coca Cola Enterprises
Union Pacific
Waste Management

Dean Foods
Delta Airlines
Eastman Chemical
H&R Block
Marathon Oil
U.S. Steel
Valero Energy

Comcast Corp.
CF Industries
Peabody Energy

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group
Harley-Davidson Inc.
Noble Energy Inc.
PepsiCo Inc.
Plum Creek Timber Company Inc.
Qualcomm Inc.
Southwest Airlines Co.

CSX Corporation
The Kroger Co.
PG&E Corporation
Reynolds American, Inc.
R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company
Safeway, Inc.
Sempra Energy

Limited Brands
Marriott International Inc.
Yum! Brands Inc.