January 22, 2020
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Legislation to Ban Contributions from Foreign-Influenced Corporations in FY 2021 Executive Budget

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Legislation to Ban...

Proposal to Ban Foreign-Influenced Corporations From Contributing to Political Campaigns in New York And Influencing Elections

WYSIWYG

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced legislation in the FY 2021 Executive Budget to ban contributions from foreign-influenced corporations to political campaigns statewide.

 

"We've seen undeniable proof that foreign entities have tried to undermine and influence our elections, and today New York takes is taking a bold step forward to protect the integrity of our democratic process," Governor Cuomo said. "With this measure, we are once and for all closing a loophole that allowed foreign controlled corporations to donate to campaigns and in the process, helping to restore confidence in our elections."  

 

The bill bans corporations from contributing to political campaigns in New York or from making independent expenditures to influence elections, if a single foreign entity controls 5 percent ownership. The proposal would also ban corporations with more than 10 percent ownership in aggregate by two or more foreign entities from making such contributions or expenditures. Finally, the proposal will ban campaign spending if more than 10 percent of a corporation's board members are foreign nationals, or a foreign national participates in the decision making with respect to a corporation's political activities in the United States. 

 

Our nation's campaign finance laws state that "foreign nationals" are barred from spending in any American election, city, state or federal. Since that's true for individual foreigners, it must also be true for the corporations owned or controlled by them. 

 

This legislation builds on Governor Cuomo's 2016 five-point Ethics Reform Plan which included the nation's strongest protections to combat the Citizen's United decision by requiring new disclosure requirements and stiffer penalties to shine a light on the shadowy intersection of government, lobbying and political consulting.

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