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Sen. Al Franken Announces Bill To Keep Foreign Interests Out Of Elections

In the past week, I've heard of other Senate and House versions of a bill forbidding campaign contributions from foreign-owned companies (and in one c

In the past week, I've heard of other Senate and House versions of a bill forbidding campaign contributions from foreign-owned companies (and in one case, companies that have even one foreign stockholder).

This one's from Sen. Al Franken, announced today:

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"Since 1974, federal law has banned foreign companies from giving or spending in American elections. Nothing in our current laws, however, explicitly prohibits foreign companies from creating American subsidiaries or getting control of American companies and using them to flood the airwaves in support of their preferred candidates. Citizens United gives companies unlimited power to do that - and does not distinguish between American companies and companies that are owned or controlled by foreign interests.

"I was pleased to hear the President recognize the need for this bill in his address last night," said Sen. Franken. "I think we can all agree that foreign interests have no place in American elections."

The "American Elections Act of 2010" was developed in coordination with Professor David Schultz of Hamline University School of Business in Minnesota.

"The Supreme Court decision in Citizens United was an attack on democracy and fair elections," said Professor Schultz. "It undid laws seeking to regulate corporations across the country and in Minnesota that go back over 60 years. As a result of it corporate money will flood into Minnesota, threatening the basic integrity of our elections and the power of citizens to control their own government. Senator Franken's bill is an important first step in addressing Citizens United and preventing money from further destroying our elections in Minnesota."

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