It didn’t take the Iowa Senate long to respond to the devastating blow to democracy struck in Citizens United v. FEC, voting 49-1 to impose tough new regulations on corporations trying to interfere in elections. In doing so, the Iowa Senate became the first state legislative body to pass significant campaign finance reform responding to Citizens United.

The bill promises to regulate corporate interference in elections by:

*Requiring corporations to file all statements and reports electronically for independent expenditures (on the same schedule as the office or election to which the independent expenditure was directed).

*Requiring corporations to put “paid for by” statements—including the name and address of the corporation or union, and the name and title of the corporation’s CEO—on all published and electronic communications.

*Requiring corporations to file a statement with the Campaign Finance Disclosure Board within 48 hours of making of an independent expenditure.

*Barring corporations from using an advertising firm or consultant that has also been used by the candidate, candidate’s committee or ballot issue committee that benefit from the independent expenditure.

*Requiring the approval of a board of directors (or similar leadership body) before a corporation makes independent expenditures that expressly advocate for or against a candidate.

*Prohibiting a foreign national from making an independent expenditure of any kind in Iowa.

Sunlight, disclosure and board/shareholder approval are important remedies to advance in Congress and state legislatures. What is perhaps most heartening about this vote is the overwhelming bi-partisan approval. It is common sense that corporations should not have more influence in elections than they already do. Hopefully this will now pass the Iowa House and be signed into law by Governor Culver.

This bill is a first step, and a good example for other states to follow, but to really undue the damage of Citizens United, we need a constitutional amendment, and that is what we are fighting for here at Free Speech For People.

For more information on this bill, visit
To watch State Senator Jeff Danielson discuss the bill, visit

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