Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris joined advocates for a virtual town hall about the Democracy Preservation Act, his legislation to fight the influence of foreign corporate spending in political campaigns. Tonight’s town hall is cosponsored by Free Speech for People, Empire State Indivisible, and the Center for American Progress. Speakers will include Senator Gianaris, Fordham Law Professor Zephyr Teachout, and Alexandra Flores-Quilty, Campaign Director at Free Speech for People.
In the disastrous 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United, corporations received nearly free rein in spending on elections. Many of the largest corporations have substantial foreign ownership, through banks, capital firms, or individual investors. The Democracy Preservation Act prohibits companies with more than 1% stake owned by a single foreign owner or more than 5% owned by foreign owners cumulatively from making political contributions in New York’s state and local campaigns. It would additionally prohibit such an entity from funding independent expenditures or political action committees, as well.