NYC Comptroller Questions Texas Company over Donations to NRA
The New York City comptroller is considering divesting from a Texas energy company over donations it made to the National Rifle Association and American Crossroads.
American Crossroads is a conservative political action committee.
Scott Stringer, who oversees $150 billion in city pension funds as the city’s comptroller, sent a letter to Clayton Williams Energy Inc. seeking information about the donations.
Stringer is worried about the “both the magnitude and the corporate purpose” of the donations as well as their “legal, reputational and operational risks,” the Associated Press reports.
The city’s pensions have around $3.2 million invested in Clayton Williams Energy, which is based in Midland. Its eponymous owner was the Republican nominee for Texas governor in 1990.
“The reported contributions are extremely large for such a small company and seem intended to further the political views of its chairman and CEO rather than the interests of the company itself,” Stringer said Monday, according to the Associated Press.
It is unclear whether Williams gave donations to the NRA or American Crossroads as an individual or on behalf of the company. The company was listed as having given at least $1 million to the NRA in 2011. Campaign finance records also show that in 2012 it gave another $1 million to American Crossroads, a PAC co-founded by Karl Rove, the Associated Press reports.
Clayton Williams Energy did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
The Big Apple’s comptroller has a precedent of purging its portfolio of firearms-related companies.
Last year, John Liu, who led the office at the time, announced that he would be completely divesting New York City’s Employee Retirement System funds from all publicly traded gun and ammunition manufacturers. Nearly $16.3 million was divested from gun makers Smith & Wesson Holding Corp., Sturm Ruger & Co., Forjas Taurus, and others. The city’s Teachers’ Retirement System divested another $13.5 million from the same companies last February.
The decision was made in the wake of the Newton, Conn. mass shooting.
“Our City’s employees do not want their pension dollars supporting companies whose products tear apart families and shatter communities,” Liu said last year. “Our Funds are exposed to financial and reputational risk with these investments. Removing our money lets the public and these companies know that we are determined to take whatever steps we can to stop the scourge of gun violence.”
However, it is unclear whether the comptroller has pushed divestment from companies associated with gun issues through indirect donations or sponsorships.
The New York City’s comptroller’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Stringer and current Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio were trustees on the comptroller’s board when it decided to divest last year.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stringently supported gun restrictions during his tenure, even when he was still a Republican. Last week he announced that he would be spending $50 million to combat the NRA.
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