Capital University Law Prof. Brad Smith on Obama’s “Foreign Corporations” Lie
President Obama last night said that in Citizens United vs. FEC, the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections:
Former FEC Chair Prof. Smith explains why this is wrong:
The Court held that 2 U.S.C. Section 441a, which prohibits all corporate political spending, is unconstitutional. Foreign nationals, specifically defined to include foreign corporations, are prohibiting from making “a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State or local election” under 2 U.S.C. Section 441e, which was not at issue in the case. Foreign corporations are also prohibited, under 2 U.S.C. 441e, from making any contribution or donation to any committee of any political party, and they prohibited from making any “expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication.”
This is either blithering ignorance of the law, or demagoguery of the worst kind.
If you have some time, listen to the oral arguments from this Supreme Court case. Instead of worrying about “special interests,” why aren’t Democrats offended that the US government argued that movies and political books released before elections could be banned or treated as serious crimes… but we shouldn’t worry because they would never fully enforce those laws? President Obama’s sort of rhetoric is cheap, populist demagoguery.