It didn't take the Iowa Senate long to respond to the devastating blow to democracy struck in Citizens United v. FEC. They voted 49-1 to impose some tough regulations on corporations trying to interfere in elections. Citizens United was an extremely troubling decision, and there's no way state legislation can really protect Iowans from its reach, but this is a very strong step in the right direction.
The following is all taken from Iowapolitics.com, which, in turn, took their information from a press release by State Senator Jeff Danielson. I don't have the tech savvy to embed Youtube videos, but you can see Senator Danielson introducing the bill here: http://www.senate.iowa.gov/...
The bill promises to regulate corporate interference in elections by:
Requiring corporations to file all statements and reports electronically for independent expenditures (on the same schedule as the office or election to which the independent expenditure was directed). ►
Requiring corporations to put "paid for by" statements—including the name and address of the corporation or union, and the name and title of the corporation’s CEO—on all published and electronic communications. ►
Requiring corporations to file a statement with the Campaign Finance Disclosure Board within 48 hours of making of an independent expenditure. ►
Barring corporations from using an advertising firm or consultant that has also been used by the candidate, candidate’s committee or ballot issue committee that benefit from the independent expenditure. ►
Requiring the approval of a board of directors (or similar leadership body) before a corporation makes independent expenditures that expressly advocate for or against a candidate.
Finally, a foreign national is prohibited from making an independent expenditure of any kind in Iowa.
Sunlight and disclosure are important remedies to put forward right away, because of their certain constitutionality. I like the Board of Directors requirement too, because it really puts the corporation on the record, which will cause at least some directors to proceed with caution.
I still believe a constitutional amendment is necessary, and a number of groups are working on that front, including MoveToAmend.org and freespeechforpeople.org. Similarly, folks should support the efforts of Rep. Alan Grayson, which are posted about frequently here.
What is perhaps most heartening about this vote is that Republicans overwhelmingly voted for it. It is common sense that corporations should not have more influence in elections than they already do.
I apologize for the brevity of the diary, but I'm writing from Liberia, where the internet can conk out at literally any second. Just wanted to get something out there :)