Democrats ask SEC for action against foreign influence in election
The Securities and Exchange Commission should adopt regulations to identify foreign companies that spend corporate funds to influence elections, Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin and 15 other House Democrats said in a letter they plan to send. send Thursday.
The letter, shared first with CQ Roll Call, cites Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to underscore the urgent need for action.
“Foreign interests have spent millions of dollars in recent US elections, often through ‘black money’ channels, and we witnessed unprecedented foreign efforts to undermine our democracy in the 2016 election cycle. “, says the letter. “Furthermore, as Russia continues its illegal war against Ukraine and the United States and its allies impose sanctions on the President [Vladimir] Putin and the complicit oligarchs of Russia, we cannot forget that these same oligarchs probably have millions hidden in American corporations.
“Current law prohibits foreign nationals from personally contributing to federal campaigns,” the lawmakers note in their letter, “yet foreign political spending may still occur through U.S.-registered corporations that are foreign affiliates or substantially owned or controlled by foreigners, all thanks to the 2010 Citizens United decision of the United States Supreme Court.
Raskin and his colleagues argue that Citizens United’s decision, which paved the way for corporations to donate unlimited amounts of their treasuries to super PACs, “created a huge foreign currency loophole in the corporate finance system. campaigns in our country. The problem is that domestically registered companies may be taken over, materially taken over, controlled or influenced by foreign governments, foreign corporations or foreign nationals,” the letter states.