Empowering People Over Special Interests
Limit Corporate Special Interest Spending In Politics
Policy Library

Get Corporate Money Out of Politics

Corporations are not allowed to contribute to candidates at the federal level, but, shockingly, most states allow such contributions. When profit-seeking corporate interests become large and influential campaign donors at the state and local level, it drowns out the voices of regular people in the political process and makes it less likely that those in office will enact laws in the best interest of most Americans. It’s not surprising therefore that Americans oppose corporate dollars in politics. In fact, a majority believe corporations are using their influence to buy elections and corrupt the government. By ending corporate contributions at the state level, the Get Corporate Money Out of Politics Act gets states in line with federal rules and most people’s expectations: that corporations cannot open their wallets on the path to the statehouse door.

The National Landscape

Passed in:

Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

In The News

“‘It makes a lot of sense to do what these contributors are doing,’ said Michael Kang, a professor of law at Emory University who studies campaign finance. ‘They want to give to people in positions of power who are likely to be in positions of power for a while and can influence policy on the issues that they care about.’”
“Donations can open the door to face time with state executives, which especially benefits regulated businesses and similar interest groups that are more likely to lobby about specific policies.”

Partners

  • Good government groups
  • Campaign finance reform groups

Opposition

  • Corporations that make political contributions
Call us for real-time support using this library, problem-solving tips, and follow-up from our team of national experts:
The State Line
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FAQ

Who does this help?
Prohibiting corporate contributions to candidates helps everyone by ensuring people’s voices are not drowned out by a small number of corporate donors in the political process. By limiting the influence of corporate special interests, states can start to restore confidence that government is serving regular people.
Won’t corporations still be able to influence elections?
Policies should be driven by what’s best for people, not what’s best for corporations. Until a change to the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, corporations will be able to continue some political spending. But limiting the ability of corporate special interests to shape the outcome of elections is an important step toward making government more responsive to the needs and interests of the voters they are supposed to represent.
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Model Policy

SECTION 1 (TITLE):
This act shall be known as the Get Corporate Money Out of Politics Act.

SECTION 2 (PURPOSE):
To end corporate political contributions to candidates for state or local office.

SECTION 3 (PROVISIONS):

(a) No business or professional corporation, partnership, or limited liability company incorporated or operating under the laws of this or any other state or any foreign country and not operating or registered as a political committee, and no officer or agent acting on behalf of any such entity, may make a contribution to a candidate for nomination, election, or appointment to a political office.

(b) A candidate may not accept a contribution or an offer or agreement to make a contribution that is prohibited under section (a).

(c) Penalties shall be enforced for violation of this chapter as under STATE campaign finance laws.