First-in-the-nation reforms protect Iowa elections and voters

State Senator Jeff Danielson makes a point in favor of arguing for campaign finance reform at a news conference at the Iowa Statehouse.  Danielson was a sponsor of legislation to protect Iowa elections from unfettered corporate spending.

State Senator Jeff Danielson makes a point in favor of campaign finance reform at a news conference at the Iowa Statehouse. Danielson was a sponsor of legislation to protect Iowa elections from unfettered corporate spending.

The Iowa Senate voted March 1 to make our state the first in the nation to protect elections from unregulated cash from big corporations and shadowy organizations.

Iowa is known as a place where all citizens decide who’s elected, not just the wealthy and powerful. But the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC threatened change that reputation.

By ruling that corporations and unions have the same political free speech rights as you and I, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively erased all rules and limits on corporate spending in political campaigns.

Iowa’s reputation for elections that focus on issues that matter to hard-working families is now at risk. In response, we are strengthening our laws to prevent a flood of anonymous, negative advertisements funded by big corporations.

Senate File 2354, which passed the Senate 49-1, will ensure that Iowans have a clearer picture of how big corporations attempt to influence our elections. It will require a corporation to:

** Add “paid for by” statements—including the name of the corporation or union—on all published and electronic communications.

** Have authorization from its board of directors (or similar leadership body) before spending money to advocate for or against a candidate.

** File regular electronic reports with the Campaign Finance Disclosure Board and also report within 48 hours of making of an independent expenditure.

** Not share an advertising firm or consultant with a candidate or ballot issue committee that benefits from the corporation’s independent expenditures.

Finally, a foreign national is prohibited from making an independent expenditure of any kind in Iowa.

The legislation now goes to the Iowa House.

Posted Mar. 11th, 2010 at 9:05 am by
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