One good sign for the future of campaign finance reform: yesterday, the Supreme Court upheld a federal law that prevents foreigners from spending to influence U.S. elections.
But, in light of the 2010 Citizens United decision, many lawyers and activists say this ruling doesn’t go far enough:
“Restricting foreign nationals from contributing to campaigns but not restricting multinational corporations that do not necessarily have Americans’ best interests at heart is kind of hypocritical and contradictory,” said Han Shan, a spokesman for the Occupy Wall Street group that was based in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park. “We need real electoral campaign finance reform, and I think that’s a position that’s enormously popular on both sides of the aisle.”
The Occupy Wall Street movement has coalesced around its opposition to the concept of corporate personhood upheld in the Citizens United decision.
“If corporations have the right to spend money on political speech, then living, breathing people who reside in this country should have the same right,” Sherman said. “This was an opportunity for the Supreme Court to reaffirm the principles that it set forth in Citizens United, and it’s disappointing that it passed up that opportunity.”
We’ll just have to agree to disagree.