On Anniversary of Citizens United, Squadron Unveils Bill to Rein In Corporate Spending

It was a year ago today that the Supreme Court, in the Citizens United decision, gave corporation unlimited power to spend money in elections without disclosing who they are donating to.

Today, Brooklyn Senator Daniel Squadron and Queens Assemblyman Rory Lancman announced that they have reintroduced a bill that would require corporations that give money to Albany to obtain shareholder approval of any donations and would force the businesses to produce a business rationale for the the bill both to their shareholders and to New York’s Secretary of State.

“The idea is that we shouldn’t have the corporate piggy bank become a place for executives to grind their own political ax,” Squadron said. “It will make it more difficult for corporations and corporative executives to massively influence the political process.”

The anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision has led to a host of new initiatives aimed at curbing the influence of money in politics. Also today Public Advocate Bill de Blasio announced that he was launching a web page to help New Yorkers lobby Albany to get Squadron’s bill passed, and a number of good government groups started a push for publicly financed elections in  New York State.

Squadron’s bill was introduced last year, and it is unclear how much support it has in the now G.O.P. controlled Senate, but he said that he did think that there was now an ally in the executive mansion on campaign finance reform.

“In his State of the State the governor talked about making New York the progressive leader of the nation. This is exactly what he was talking about.”