Ban Foreign-Influenced Election Spending

End Foreign Influence on our Elections

Ban Spending by Foreign-Influenced Corporations

Right now, there is no restriction on US corporations with significant amount of foreign investors from political spending to influence our elections. We support prohibiting corporations and similar businesses from political spending if 1% of stock is owned by a single foreign investor, or 5% of stock is owned by multiple foreign investors. This protects the democractic self-government we value highly from foreign influence.

This simple change:

  • Covers approximately 98% of S&P 500 corporations with the 1% and 5% foreign ownership thresholds
  • Covers less than one-third of “small-cap” publicly-traded corporations; and probably very few privately held corporations.
  • Creates a more representative and less corrupt election environment

Why We Need It

Many corporations—particularly global multinational corporations such as Amazon, Lyft and Uber—are
owned in substantial part by foreign investors. These foreign investors are already prohibited by federal
law from spending their own money to influence U.S. elections, including state and local elections.

Under current law, companies owned in part by foreign investors can spend unlimited corporate funds to
influence our elections. An investor who owns 1% of stock in a major corporation (typically, hundreds of
millions of dollars) is likely in the top 10 investors, and can get the CEO on the phone within 24 hours.
Furthermore, executives look over their shoulders at major investors and look out for their interests. As a
CEO of ExxonMobil said, “I’m not a U.S. company and I don’t make decisions based on what’s good for the
U.S.” Decisions on political spending in US elections should not be made by companies subject to foreign