WASHINGTON — The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday unanimously adopted rules designed to prevent investment advisers from making political contributions to elected officials to obtain business from state and local pension funds, investment pools and college savings accounts.

“Pay-to-play distorts municipal investment priorities as well as the process by which investment managers are selected,” SEC chairman Mary Schapiro said at the commission meeting. “It can mean that public plans and their beneficiaries receive sub-par adviser performance at a premium price.”

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