For Immediate Release
Drew Courtney or Josh Glasstetter
PFAW Backs Ban on Foreign Electioneering in Wake of Citizens United
WASHINGTON - In response to the introduction of legislation
by Senator Al Franken that would protect federal, state, and local
elections from foreign influence, People For the American Way Executive Vice
President Marge Baker issued the
“President Obama was exactly right when he raised the threat of
undue foreign influence in US elections following the Supreme Court’s
irresponsible decision in Citizens United v.
FEC. The ruling gives corporations the right to spend unlimited sums
of money to directly challenge or support candidates at every level of office.
In doing so, the Court effectively opened up US elections to meddling by
foreign governments and multinationals.
“Critics of the President point to existing laws banning
contributions and electioneering by foreign nationals and corporations. But
there are no restrictions on US subsidiaries of foreign corporations or on
corporations. In other words, US politicians are now fair game for the
world’s wealthiest companies, including those run as business arms of
foreign states. That is wrong, and we don’t believe the American people
will stand for it.
“The legislation introduced today by Senator Franken would do
much to close the foreign
electioneering loophole. Most importantly, it would prohibit electioneering by
corporations which are controlled or highly influenced by foreign nationals. It
would also mandate heightened disclosure of the level of foreign influence of
corporations engaging in electioneering.
“The Franken bill is a crucial first step in cleaning up the mess
made by the Supreme Court. We urge Senators to quickly adopt it.”
People For the American Way is dedicated to making the promise of America real for every American: Equality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to seek justice in a court of law. The right to cast a vote that counts. The American Way. Our vision is a vibrantly diverse democratic society in which everyone is treated equally under the law, given the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams, and encouraged to participate in our nation’s civic and political life. Our America respects diversity, nurtures creativity and combats hatred and bigotry.