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Print Version-Press Release: Capuano Introduces Legislation in Response to Supreme Court Citizens United Ruling


Capuano Introduces Legislation in Response to Supreme Court Citizens United Ruling

January 28, 2010

In response to last week's Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United V. the Federal Election Commission (FEC) Congressman Mike Capuano has filed legislation requiring a shareholder vote before any corporate general treasury funds can be spent on political activity.

Last week's Supreme Court ruling eliminates restrictions on corporate treasury spending, allowing corporations to use general treasury funds for independent political expenditures. This has the potential to flood the market with unlimited election ads. Previously, corporations could only spend money through their registered Political Action Committees (PACs).

"We should be moving in the exact opposite direction — limiting outside influence in our democratic elections process, not giving corporations an unrestricted and disproportionate voice", stated Congressman Capuano.

The Shareholder Protection Act, H.R. 4537, would:

  • Ensure that shareholders' political interests are accurately represented by their corporation.
  • Require an authorizing vote of a majority of shareholders before general treasury funds can be spent on political activities.
  • Require quarterly notification to all shareholders on corporations' contributions or expenditures for political activities.

"This Supreme Court ruling has the very real potential to dramatically alter the level of corporate participation in political campaigns. Congress can and should take action to ensure that the voice of the voters is not overshadowed by corporate influence. My legislation is a step toward addressing that influence," stated Congressman Capuano.

Contact: Alison M. Mills 617-621-6208

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