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February 20, 2020

Tucker Carlson Calls Out CalPERS for Political Investment Decisions


By Larry Keane

With Second Amendment advocates holding firm in Congress and in state legislatures across the country, gun control groups have increasingly turned to backroom deals to impose their goals on citizens.

This has played out with banks and other financial institutions discriminating against law-abiding, heavily regulated firearms and ammunition companies. It’s also happening with major retailers siding with politics, rather than consumer demand. Shareholder activists are also pressuring firearms firms to obey their uninformed demands and pressuring public pension funds to sell off shares of firearms and ammunition companies, counter to their fiduciary responsibility.

Exposing Duplicity

All too often, the mainstream media is silent about these underhanded end-runs around the ballot box. This week, Tucker Carlson stepped up. In a segment about the power that China has in the United States, Carlson pointed out that Yu Meng, the Chief Investment Officer at California’s Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS), was born in China and moved to the United States at 25 years old. Meng is helping to lead a pension system that, as Carlson puts it, “has long engaged in shareholder activism to advance leftwing causes in this country like gun control and have been very aggressive about it.” At the same time, CalPERS is investing Californians’ public employee retirement funds into companies that supply the Chinese military.

Troubling Connections

Carlson explains why this is a concern.

“There’s nothing harmless about these investments,” he said. As Yu Meng himself once noted, ‘Of course, it empowers the Chinese regime to have the money flowing in.’”

Carlson wasn’t done. “When Meng worked for a Chinese investment fund, he was recruited by the Thousand Talents Initiative,” he continued. “That’s a Chinese program designed to encourage foreign businessmen, scientists and other experts to work on China’s behalf often secretly. The explicit goal is to obtain Western technology and research for China’s own use, so they can surpass us which they are.”

Intelligent and informed citizens can hold a range of opinions on the role of China in the United States, human rights questions in China and the relationship the two countries do and should have. But it’s clear to see that a public pension fund must serve the Californians that are depending on the fund for their financial futures. Playing politics by irrationally selling off legal U.S. firearms companies, especially while supporting the Chinese military, is simply wrong.

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