Grayson Introduces Bills to Dull SCOTUS Ruling

Flickr/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/huffstutterrobertl/">roberthuffstutter</a> (Creative Commons)

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


The newest installment in his “Save Our Democracy” platform, firebreathing Congressman Alan Grayson introduced two new bills yesterday to dull the impact of last week’s Supreme Court decision, which determined that corporations can spend unlimited amounts of money on elections. Grayson called the 5-4 ruling the “worst since Dred Scott.”

The first bill, patriotically titled the “America is for Americans Act,” bans political expenditures from any corporation with foreign owners. “Foreigners cannot vote in our elections, so they should not be allowed to spend unlimited money to buy votes either,” Grayson said in a press release. “If we do not limit foreign influence, we will soon have ‘the Distinguished Member from Russia’ or ‘the Esteemed Senator from Saudi Arabia.'”

The second bill introduced last night demands that companies “cannot have it both ways” when it comes to “campaign propaganda.” The “Pick Your Poison Act” would force corporations to choose between lobbying congress to further their political agenda and supporting candidates in election years. “If they want to use hired guns to influence lawmakers,” Grayson said, “they need to stay out of the election process.”

Among the six bills Team Grayson says can “Save our Democracy” are measures to implement a 500% excise tax on corporate contributions, apply antitrust laws to PACs, and require corporations to disclose SEC filings on funds used to influence public opinion.

Grayson’s outspoken demeanor has earned the freshman congressman the unfortunate reputation as the liberal antidote to GOP Reps. Michele Bachmann and Steve King, both prone to exaggeration and ideological grandstanding. But these measures could strike a chord among lawmakers who think the Supreme Court went too far last week by extending the free speech rights for individuals to massive corporations.

Follow Ben on Twitter. 

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest