The Boston Globe has just posted an op-ed by our Legal Director Ron Fein & Prof. Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law School, entitled “How Massachusetts can fight foreign influence in our elections.”
The op-ed, discusses legislation that Free Speech For People and Common Cause Massachusetts have helped develop, and which is now pending before the Massachusetts legislature. The bill, which has been introduced in both houses of the Massachusetts legislature and has a public hearing tomorrow, will ban independent expenditures, electioneering communications, or contributions to independent expenditure PACs (super PACs) by “foreign-influenced corporations” — defined as a corporation owned 5% by a single foreign owners, or 20% by a group of foreign owners.
This bill builds on Free Speech For People’s work developing similar legislation in St. Petersburg, Florida (along with partners American Promise-Tampa Bay, League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area, and the Leif Nissen Foundation), which is ready for a final vote in October, and Connecticut, where it passed the House but did not clear the Senate before time ran on of the state’s brief legislative calendar. (For more on the legal theory and background of this legislation, see the letters of support from scholars here.)
To read the op-ed, click here.