(Host) Congressman Peter Welch has joined a bi-partisan coalition of House members to support campaign finance reform legislation that would apply to the 2010 elections.
Welch says the bill is needed to counteract a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that allows corporations and labor unions to spend an unlimited amount of money to influence a political campaign.
One provision of Welch’s legislation requires that corporate CEOs appear at the end of any political ad:
(Welch) "I do think that when the candidate has to go on and approve the ad, then that candidate – he or she – owns it, and it affects your reputation. And a corporation that is going to be required to have its CEO vouch for the ad is going to have to think twice about what that ad does to their reputation in the public.
(Host) The legislation also prohibits foreign companies from spending money on political ads:
(Welch) "If you have a foreign corporation, its sole loyalty is not only to its corporation and its corporate interests but it’s based in another country where its long term interests are aligned with a different country and not the United States of America."
(Host) The legislation also calls for the timely disclosure of all corporate spending to influence elections.
Welch says he’s optimistic that the bill will be passed by both the House and Senate in the coming weeks so that it can apply to this year’s elections.