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STATEMENT: CAP’s Michael Sozan Praises NY Senate Passage of Measure To Ban Foreign-Influenced Corporate Spending in State Elections

Washington, D.C. — Today, the New York Senate approved 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), 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 5 percent or more of the company is owned by multiple foreign investors.

The Center for American Progress has been a leader, along with Free Speech For People, 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. In response, Michael Sozan, a senior fellow at CAP, issued the following statement:

Today, the New York Senate took a giant step forward in protecting democracy. This measure will prevent foreign-influenced U.S. corporations from spending company money to sway New York state’s elections. We look forward to the Assembly passing counterpart legislation in the coming days and making New York the first state in the nation to codify this people-powered policy. This pro-democracy reform will reduce foreign influence in our elections and lessen the outsize power of multinational corporations in our political system.

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