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The US Supreme Court decision handed down earlier this week determined that corporations should be treated as individuals--and should face no restrictions on spending to support political candidates. In the wake of overturning a century-standing law, the way was paved for foreign companies to spend freely to influence US elections, too. And yes, that means foreign oil companies and oil-rich countries like Saudi Arabia could dump money into supporting a favored candidate. A coalition of Democrats set about writing a law that would restrict their influence--and the lobbyists mobilized to keep the law from happening. From Think Progress:
Congressional Democrats, led by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), are drafting legislation to curb the influence of foreign corporations and foreign governments following the decision. However, the National Journal reported today that corporate lobbyists representing foreign corporations are already organizing to defeat such a proposal.They've already launched a campaign attempting to label fears that massive foreign investments intended to influence the US political system are "red herrings". But I'm skeptical to say the least. Does this sound like a red herring to you?
Presumably because of the Citizens United ruling, Saudi Arabian-owned subsidiaries operating in the United States can now spend unlimited amounts advocating the defeat of candidates who support clean energy legislation ... foreign-oil backed lobbyists in America are already instigating efforts to kill clean energy legislation.To me, it seems pretty blatantly contrary to most Americans' values to allow foreign nations and corporations to pump money into an American political candidate's campaign, in order to help elect a candidate sympathetic to their policies. I honestly can't see how such a practice could be endorsed by members of either political party--unless of course, they happen to be the ones receiving the funds from Saudi Arabia.