New Effort Launched To Stop Use Of Public Pension Funds For Leftist Causes
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The State Financial Officers Foundation announced on Tuesday a new effort, joined by Utah Treasurer Marlo Oaks (R), to push back on the use of pension funds to back leftist political causes.

The foundation launched the Public Fiduciary Network, chaired by Oaks, to raise awareness about the use of public pension funds to push politicized Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives. According to the group, there are about 5,000 state and local pension funds across the United States that control trillions of dollars in assets.

“Our goal is to provide education and resources for to them to understand the scope of the problem in the financial industry, the level of politicization of these funds, and to understand very clear ways that they can protect the fiduciary duty with respect to how they’re managing and overseeing these pension funds,” Noah Wall, the executive director of the State Financial Officers Foundation, said at a press conference in Florida.

Oaks, who will be the network’s national chair, said that teaching individuals on state and local pension boards about the efforts of some asset managers to back certain agendas was a “critical issue” because of the “politicization of our capital markets.”

The Republican said that pension fund managers needed to go back to the traditional understanding of fiduciary responsibility where political agendas do not impact investment strategies.

Earlier this month, a report from the American Accountability Foundation showed that Oklahoma public official retirement funds were being used to push decarbonization, racial audits, and pro-abortion policies. The report identified at least 216 ESG-tinged proposals that were backed using public retirement funds.

When asked by The Daily Wire if there would be a specific area of geographic focus for the network, Wall said they hoped to recruit partners at every level across the country.

“It’s a 50 state issue,” he said. “We’ll be working on recruiting members on states from around the country. It’s not a red state or blue state problem. This is a national issue. We’re going be recruiting everyone down to the county commissioners that oversee local pension boards.”


State Financial Officer Foundation CEO Derek Kreifels said that raising awareness was especially needed because giant asset managers, like BlackRock, have stepped up their lobbying at the state and local level. Kreifels said BlackRock has sent mixed messages about its commitment to ESG investments, saying that its stance “depends on who’s in the room and who they’re talking to.”

In recent years, states have stepped up efforts to block state funds from going through asset managers that have targeted the oil and gas industry.

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