Tuesday, February 02, 2010

McConnell Fighting Effort To Block Political Spending By Foreign Corporations


You'd think that if there were one Democratic initiative that Republicans in Congress might be bashful about opposing -- especially given the current anti-corporate climate in the country -- it would be a bid to stop foreign corporations from pouring money into our elections.

You'd be wrong. In fact, they're willing to stand up in support of those foreign corporations' right to do so.

As we've reported, the Supreme Court's decision last month in the Citizen's United case means that U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies now can spend unlimited amounts on independent expenditure campaigns supporting or opposing candidates. It's true that the court left untouched a separate law prohibiting foreign nationals, including corporations, from spending on elections -- likely what Justice Alito had in mind during his Joe Wilson moment at the State of the Union speech last week. But there's little doubt that that ban doesn't cover the U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies, or to foreign-owned corporations that incorporate in the U.S.

Democrats, backed by the White House, sensed a political opportunity in the wake of the court's ruling, and quickly sprung into action, drafting legislation to fix the problem. A bill by Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), reports the Wall Street Journal, "would ban spending by any U.S. subsidiary of a foreign company or any U.S. corporation that has foreign debt, one or more non-U.S. director or any foreign ownership, which are common practices.".............

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