Washington, D.C. — Today, the New York State Senate approved—for the second time—the Democracy Preservation Act, a measure that would ban foreign-influenced U.S. corporations from any election-related spending, including direct donations to political action committees, candidates, and dark money organizations. Passed under the leadership of Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris (D) as part of a larger democracy reform package, the measure prohibits political contributions from companies where there is appreciable foreign ownership—when a single foreign investor owns at least 1 percent of the company or when multiple foreign investors own 5 percent or more of the company.
The Center for American Progress has been a leader, along with Free Speech For People and other groups, in urging the passage of this and similar measures around the country to ensure that corporate CEOs who are accountable to their foreign investors are not influencing U.S. elections. Just last month, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), a democracy champion, filed federal legislation mirroring the New York state legislation. In response to the latest action from New York, Michael Sozan, a senior fellow at CAP, issued the following statement:
The New York State Senate is again leading the people-powered movement toward protecting democracy. This legislation, championed by state Sen. Gianaris, will prevent foreign-influenced U.S. corporations from spending company money to determine the outcome of New York state’s elections. The New York State Assembly should now take all necessary steps to pass counterpart legislation and make New York the first state in the nation to codify this policy. As voters have repeatedly made clear, it is time to reduce foreign influence in our elections and lessen the outsize power of multinational corporations in our political system.
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