NEW REPORT Showcases How Foreign Interests Are Spending Massive Amounts of Money in U.S. Elections.
The Problem of Foreign Money in Politics Explains Why We Need a Constitutional Amendment to Provide a Better Framework for Dealing with Foreign Influence.
Washington, D.C. – Today, American Promise released a report that tracks and analyzes the influx and impact of foreign money in state and federal elections. Providing a fresh perspective on recent events, the report underscores that America’s allies (such as Canada, Japan, and Australia) and adversaries (such as China and Russia) are discreetly spending money to influence elections and policies in the United States to favor their agendas.
Since 2016, foreign-connected entities have reported spending large amounts of money to influence ballot measures, including $219 million in California in 2020 and $67 million in Maine in 2021.
“Dark money” groups and lax enforcement of disclosure regulations make it trivially easy for donors to funnel money into PACs and other groups anonymously, and there is good reason to believe that foreign spenders take advantage of this. Allowing foreign entities to influence elections opens the door for them to shape American politics in ways that benefit them, but potentially harm us. This is why we need permanent reform via an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would give state and federal policymakers a more flexible toolkit to cope with evolving forms of foreign interference in our politics.
Key findings include:
- In the 2022 elections alone, PACs connected to foreign companies spent over $19.9 million on federal elections.
- Avangrid, a subsidiary of Iberdrola, injected more than $23.1 million into one ballot question committee opposing a ballot measure to create a state-owned energy utility.
- In the 2021 Maine ballot election, foreign entities spent $67 million.