Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Will Multinational Corporate Lobbyists Define America Now?

The Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision opened up a huge loophole in the restrictions that we have on foreign entities participating in our elections. Now, foreign corporations with U.S. subsidiaries will be able to make 'independent expenditures' to American political campaigns.

Democrats have already begun drafting legislation that could restrict the possibility of foreign influence in our election campaigns. However, it is doubtful that anything, short of a constitutional amendment, will impact on the ruling.

Democrats are also eyeing restrictions on U.S. companies that are subsidiaries of foreign-owned corporations; they believe the public will be outraged by the possibility of foreign influence in U.S. election campaigns. The high court's majority opinion avoided addressing possible implications for foreign-owned firms, which are barred from direct participation in U.S. elections but can use their American subsidiaries to form political action committees.
Foreign subsidiaries are already "lashing out at reports that congressional Democrats are looking to block foreign-owned corporations from seizing on the Supreme Court's campaign finance ruling last week".

Saudi Arabia has already asserted that the development of renewable energy is their biggest threat. Now, they can do something to stop their "biggest threat". Saudi Arabian-owned subsidiaries operating in the U.S. can and will expend as much as they want to advocate for the defeat of candidates who support clean energy legislation.

Tough legislation must be drafted to keep domestic corporations from operating on their own as if they were not foreign-controlled companies.


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