LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--UNITE HERE Local 11 has submitted a letter asking the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether Lowe Enterprises Investment Management, LLC, violated the Commission’s pay-to-play Rule 206(4)-5.
Lowe Enterprises Investment Management, LLC, is a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based real estate firm Lowe Enterprises. Between December 2015 and April 2016, Lowe Enterprises CEO Robert Lowe gave a total of $35,700 to Kasich for America, Ohio Governor John Kasich’s presidential campaign committee, and New Day for America, a Super PAC supporting Mr. Kasich.1 New Day for America began as a nonprofit that Mr. Kasich and his supporters used pay for campaign travel expenses and was converted into a Super PAC in mid-2015 when Mr. Kasich formally announced his candidacy for President. New Day for America was staffed by close associates of Mr. Kasich.2
As Governor of Ohio, Mr. Kasich has the authority to appoint members to the Board of Trustees of the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS). Lowe Enterprises has had a long-term investment relationship with OPERS. Over more than 20 years, Lowe Enterprises has invested in excess of $1 billion on behalf of the retirement system, and the firm continued to actively manage OPERS investments in August 2016, just four months after Mr. Lowe’s final contribution to New Day for America.3
Under Rule 206(4)-5, Mr. Lowe’s contributions to Kasich for America and New Day for America should have triggered a two-year “time-out” on Lowe Enterprises’ ability to provide advisory services for compensation to OPERS, says UNITE HERE Local 11.
The letter to the SEC can be viewed here.
UNITE HERE Local 11 is a hospitality workers union in Los Angeles and Arizona.
1 Campaign contributions drawn from Federal Elections
2 Jessica Wehrman, “New Day for America becoming John Kasich’s Super PAC,” Columbus Dispatch (July 24, 2015). Accessed at: http://www.dispatch.com/article/20150724/NEWS/307249690.
3 Jon Peterson, “Ohio PERS Over-Allocated to Real Estate, Limits New Investments,” IPE Real Assets (August 23, 2016). Accessed at: https://realassets.ipe.com/news/investors/ohio-pers-over-allocated-to-real-estate-limits-new-investments/realassets.ipe.com/news/investors/ohio-pers-over-allocated-to-real-estate-limits-new-investments/10014789.fullarticle. See also, “Lowe Enterprises Response to City of Redondo Beach Waterfront Development Opportunity and Request for Vision and Approach,” p. 39. Accessed at: http://laserweb.redondo.org/WebLink/0/edoc/227908/F.%20Lowe%20Enterprises%20-%20RFV%20Submittal.pdf.