Democrats in Congress want to offset a recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that they say “opens the floodgates” for corporate and special interest control of the American political system.
Sen. Charles Schumer of New York and Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland revealed a legislative plan to ban spending by foreign corporations, require company executives to full disclose campaign spending and provide lower ad rates for candidates who need to respond to attack ads funded by rich special interest groups.
“We have to move quickly,” Schumer said. “If not, the court ruling will have a disastrous, immediate effect on the 2010 elections.”
The controversial Supreme Court ruling makes it easier for corporations, unions and other special interest groups to spend unlimited amounts on campaign ads in elections.
The proposed legislation would prevent government contractors from spending money on ads, ban U.S. corporations from spending if they are 20 percent or more owned by foreign companies and ban campaign spending by companies that took federal bailout money.
“This is a solution in search of a problem,” Paul Sherman, staff attorney for libertarian public interest firm Institute for Justice, told McClatchy Newspapers.