On Thursday, March 18, Legal Director Ron Fein submitted written testimony on a proposed bill that could limit political spending by foreign-influenced corporations in Colorado.

The bill, SB21-177, provides a productive starting point for comprehensive legislation to challenge foreign-influenced corporations from interfering in Colorado state elections. Fein’s remarks detail a number of amendments that would strengthen the proposed legislation.

The recommendations include:

  • Upgrading the thresholds for a “foreign-influenced corporation” to 1% ownership by any foreign owner (not just a foreign government) or 5% (not 20%) aggregate ownership by multiple foreign owners.
  • Expanding the definition of “foreign owner” to also include a corporation or similar entity that is owned at least 50% by a foreign government, foreign political party, foreign business entity, or foreign national.
  • Clarifying that actual foreign participation in corporate decision-making regarding political activity will also trigger “foreign-influenced” status regardless of ownership levels.
  • Expanding the definition of “foreign-influenced corporation” to also include other legal structures for business entities such as LLCs, partnerships, and so forth.

Free Speech For People believes that the proposed bill is an important starting point for comprehensive legislation.

Free Speech For People has researched, drafted and fought for legislation in St. Petersburg, FL, Seattle WA, New York, and other states to challenge foreign-influenced corporate spending.

Read Ron Fein’s full testimony here.