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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Democrats Plan Bill To Counter Citizens United Ruling

By Dan EggenWashington Post staff writer Friday, April 23, 2010
Democrats plan to introduce legislation next week that would sharply limit the ability of foreign-connected companies to participate in U.S. politics and require greater transparency from corporations, unions and nonprofit groups that pay for political advertising, according to a confidential summary of the bill.
The proposal, spearheaded by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), is aimed at blunting the effect of a Supreme Court ruling in January that permits companies and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money for or against political candidates. President Obama has sharply attacked the ruling, and many Democrats fear it will unleash a flood of corporate spending that is likely to favor Republicans.
According to the summary, obtained by The Washington Post, the legislation would require corporate chief executives or group leaders to publicly attach their names to ads, much like political candidates are required to do. It would also mandate disclosure of major donors whose money is used for "campaign-related activity."
The latter measure would require powerful trade groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for the first time to identify the companies that fund its political-related spending.
The measure would also tighten political restrictions on foreign-based corporations, which would be defined as any company that has 20 percent foreign voting shares, a majority of foreign directors or a foreign national leading U.S. operations. If enacted into law, that provision could affect a significant number of familiar companies, including Budweiser, T-Mobile and Research in Motion. LinkHere


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