More Reports of Foreign Interests/Global Corporations Meddling in American Elections

Where did the hundreds of millions of dollars that were used in the ubiquitous attack ads in the 201o mid-term elections come from? Who funded attack ads such as the fraudulent one that falsely accused a Congresswoman of supporting Viagra for rapists in the health care reform law? According to Bloomberg, the multi-billion, transnational corporation Merck & Co. and other pharmaceutical corporations secretly were behind that one.

Nearly two years after the elections, the truth slowly is coming out about how some of the biggest, most global corporations in the world corruptly influenced American elections after Citizens UnitedBloomberg links millions of dollars of contributions and spending from global corporations through front groups such as the American Action Network and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In addition to Merck, the corporations meddling in American elections include  Chevron, Prudential Financial Inc., and Target.

Previous reports show that the global corporations such as News Corporation funneled millions of dollars into the 2010 election. As with most global corporations, News Corporation’s largest shareholders also are global corporations based around the world. For example, the second largest shareholder in News Corporation, after the Murdoch family, is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Company of Saudi Arabia, holding more than $2 billion of shares. Similarly, more than half of the shareholders of the Germany-based Merck & Co. are outside the United States.

Earlier this month, the Sunlight Foundation reported on how the Citizens United decision could lead to foreign interests influencing the outcome of American elections.

It remains illegal for foreign human beings to engage in U.S. election spending. As a recent Court decision says, “it is fundamental to the definition of our national political community that foreign citizens do not have a constitutional right to participate in, and thus may be excluded from, activities of democratic self-government.”


About Jeff Clements

Jeff Clements, an attorney and author, is the president and co-founder of Free Speech for People, a national, non-partisan campaign to challenge the creation of Constitutional rights for corporations, overturn Citizens United v. FEC, and strengthen American democracy and republican self-government. He is the author of the Corporations Are Not People (Berrett-Koehler, 2012). Mr. Clements, an attorney, has represented and advocated for people, businesses and the public interest since 1988. Mr. Clements served as Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the Public Protection & Advocacy Bureau in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office from early 2007 to 2009. As Bureau Chief, he led more than 100 attorneys and staff in law enforcement and litigation in the areas of civil rights, environmental protection, healthcare, insurance and financial services, antitrust and consumer protection. Mr. Clements also served as an Assistant Attorney General in Massachusetts from 1996 to 2000, where he worked on litigation against the tobacco industry and handled a wide range of other investigations and litigation to enforce unfair trade practice, consumer protection and antitrust laws. In private practice, Mr. Clements has been a partner in the Boston law firms of Clements & Clements, LLP and Mintz Levin. He also has practiced in Maine, where he has represented clients in a variety of appeals and litigation, and in investigations and prosecutions by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Maine Attorney General’s Office. In the 1990s, Mr. Clements was elected as a Trustee and President of the Board of Trustees of the Portland Water District, a public agency responsible for protecting and delivering safe drinking water and ensuring proper treatment of wastewater for 160,000 people in Portland and South Portland, Maine and several surrounding communities. He was a co-founder, officer, and director of Friends of Casco Bay, an environmental advocacy organization focused on protection and stewardship of Maine’s Casco Bay. He also has served as a Trustee and President of the Board of The Waldorf School in Lexington, Massachusetts. Mr. Clements graduated with distinction in History and Government from Colby College in 1984, and magna cum laude with a concentration in Public Law from the Cornell Law School in 1988. He lives in Concord, Massachusetts with his wife and three children.
This entry was posted in The book, Uncontrolled corporations and the economy. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to More Reports of Foreign Interests/Global Corporations Meddling in American Elections

  1. Kaitlin SB says:

    Thanks for sharing Jeff!

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