Tag Archives: Campaign Finance

Lawmakers Move to Bar Foreign-Owned Corporations From Spending on US Elections

A new bill “closes a glaring loophole opened up by the Supreme’s Court disastrous Citizens United decision which allows U.S. companies primarily owned by foreign entities to funnel money into our elections,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin.

By Edward Carver. Published 7-11-2024 by Common Dreams

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund owns stakes in several major U.S. companies including Uber. Such companies have been allowed to spend freely on elections since 2010, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizen United. Photo: Ivan Radic/flickr/CC

Democratic lawmakers on Thursday introduced bills to the U.S. Senate and House seeking to ban corporations that are at least 5% foreign-owned from federal elections spending, drawing praise from advocacy groups.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) introduced the Get Foreign Money Out of U.S. Elections Act to the Senate and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) reintroduced the same bill to the House, with each version gaining co-sponsorship by progressive lawmakers such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

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Fresh Calls to ‘Reject AIPAC’ After Analysis of GOP Money in Dem Primaries

“George Latimer in New York and Wesley Bell in Missouri are trying to become Democratic members of Congress off millions of dollars of money from rich right-wing Republicans,” said one group.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 6-9-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: Ted Eytan /CC

Politico reported Sunday that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is “the biggest source of Republican money flowing into competitive Democratic primaries this year,” sparking new calls for candidates and voters nationwide to #RejectAIPAC.

“If you don’t want Republican megadonors to choose your next Democratic congressperson for you, then there’s only one option: #RejectAIPAC,” Naftali Ehrenkranz, digital director at Get Free, said on social media, pointing to the reporting.

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Trump to Big Oil Execs: Give Me $1 Billion and I’ll Help You Wreck the Planet

“You won’t read a more important story today,” said one commentator. “Trump is willing to literally destroy the planet for $1 billion.”

By Jake Johnson. Published 5-9-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: Trump White House Archived/flickr

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made a straightforward offer to some of the top fossil fuel executives in the United States during a dinner at his Mar-a-Lago club last month, which marked the hottest April on record.

According to new reporting, Trump pledged to swiftly gut climate regulations put in place by the Biden administration if the oil and gas industry raises $1 billion for his 2024 presidential campaign.

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Dark Money-Backed ‘No Labels’ Drops Third-Party Presidential Bid

One observer quipped that No Labels was calling it quits “to spend more time with their lobbyists.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 4-4-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: No Labels/X

Less than a month after No Labels announced it would nominate a “unity ticket” for the 2024 presidential election, the group said Thursday that it is abandoning its longshot third-party White House bid.

“No Labels has always said we would only offer our ballot line to a ticket if we could identify candidates with a credible path to winning the White House,” the group said in a statement. “No such candidates emerged, so the responsible course of action is for us to stand down.”

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Analysis Shows ‘Unprecedented Surge’ of Dark Money Ahead of 2024 Elections

“Contributions from dark money groups and shell companies are outpacing all prior elections and may even surpass the roughly $660 million in contributions from unknown sources that flooded 2020 elections.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 314-2024 by Common Dreams

The Rolling Rebellion For Real Democracy at the Milwaukee County Courthouse, 2014. Photo:Joe Brusky/flickr/CC

Dark money groups are spending at record levels in their efforts to influence the outcome of the 2024 U.S. elections, an analysis published Wednesday by OpenSecrets revealed.

According to the watchdog, the “unprecedented surge” in spending by dark money groups—which, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling don’t have to disclose their donors—topped $162 million in 2023, “surpassing the level of dark contributions seen at the same point in any prior election cycle.”

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Companies Pushing Weak UN Plastics Treaty Dump Millions Into US Elections

“The only way to curb our catastrophic plastic pollution problem is to cut plastic production, but the industry is spending big to block action at every level to protect their profits,” said one campaigner.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 11-17-2023 by Common Dreams

Hundreds have marched in Nairobi, demanding action against plastic pollution Photo: Emeka Gift Official/X

Major multinational corporations attending negotiations for a global plastics treaty in an effort to weaken the agreement spent tens of millions of dollars on lobbying and political contributions during the 2022 election cycle, revealed an analysis published Friday by the Center for Biological Diversity.

As Common Dreams reported this week, 143 fossil fuel and chemical industry lobbyists registered to attend the third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-3) in Nairobi, Kenya, which is scheduled to run through Sunday. That’s more than the combined delegations from 70 nations, and far surpasses the 38 members of a scientists’ coalition participating in the negotiations.

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Voting Rights Groups Raise Alarm About House GOP Introducing ‘Big Lie Bill’

One critic warned the legislation would “increase the influence of billionaires, corporations, and secret money in our elections while putting up barriers for eligible voters to vote.”

By Jessica Corbett Published 7-10-2023 by Common Dreams

U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Wis.). Photo: Congressman Bryan Steil/Facebook

Voting rights advocates across the United States on Monday responded with alarm to Republicans introducing what its backers called “the most conservative election integrity bill to be seriously considered” in the U.S. House of Representatives in decades.

Dubbed the “Big Lie Bill” by critics, the American Confidence in Elections (ACE) Act is spearheaded by Committee on House Administration Chair Bryan Steil (R-Wis.) and includes nearly 50 standalone bills from the chamber’s GOP members.

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Investigation Shows Rail Giant Donated to Ohio Governor a Month Before Toxic Crash

If Norfolk Southern “can pay for lobbyists and politicians, they can pay to clean up the mess they made in our community,” said one local group.

By Kenny Stancil  Published 2-20-2023 by Common Dreams

A derailed freight train is seen in East Palestine, Ohio. (Photo: NTSB/Handout via Xinhua)

An investigation published Monday revealed that just weeks before a Norfolk Southern-owned train overloaded with hazardous materials derailed and caused a toxic chemical fire in East Palestine, Ohio, the rail giant donated $10,000—the maximum amount allowed—to help fund the inauguration of the state’s Republican Gov. Mike DeWine.

According to WSYX, the Columbus-based news outlet that conducted the investigation, “This contribution, which is part of $29,000 the Virginia-based corporation has contributed to DeWine’s political funds since he first ran for governor in 2018, is merely one piece of an extensive, ongoing effort to influence statewide officials and Ohio lawmakers.” Continue reading

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GOP House Puts Big Oil’s Revolving Door Into High Gear

These lobbyists are not getting hired to advocate for American energy consumers—they will push an agenda that benefits the new majority’s donors no matter what it costs taxpayers.”

By Brett Wilkins  Published 1-27-2023 by Common Dreams.

Nancy Peele, chief of staff to House Natural Resources Committee Chair Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), is a former fossil fuel lobbyist for companies responsible for the 2010 Gulf oil spill. (Photo: Nancy Peele/LinkedIn)

An analysis published Friday by the nonpartisan watchdog Accountable.US revealed that numerous former fossil fuel lobbyists are being hired to work for the Republican-controlled 118th Congress, including in high-level positions on the House Natural Resources Committee.

“As the Republicans majority begins the new Congress, former oil industry lobbyists will have new and growing influence as top staffers for congressmen on key committees,” the analysis states. Continue reading

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House GOP Scraps Consumer Protection Panels in ‘First of Many Gifts’ to Wall Street

Republican Chair Patrick McHenry “wasted no time seeking payback on behalf of his biggest donors by scrapping key subcommittees dedicated to consumer protection and preventing industry discrimination,” said Accountable.US.

By Julia Conley  Published 113-2023 by Common Dreams

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) speaks at the Brookings Institute in 2017. Photo: Brookings Institution/flickr/CC

The U.S. committee tasked with overseeing the financial sector on Thursday “dispelled any doubt of their intent to do the bidding of the financial industries over the interests of everyday families,” said a government watchdog group as the panel signaled it will significantly scale back its efforts to push for consumer protections on Wall Street.

House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) Chair Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) announced the new Republican subcommittee chairmanships, with new panels including the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Monetary Policy—tasked with overseeing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)—and the Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology, and Inclusion, headed by pro-cryptocurrency Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.). Continue reading

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