Senate District 11
Teresa Fedor
Fedor Testifies on Ohio Anti-Corruption Act
November 18, 2020
Today, state Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) testified in support of Senate Bill 349, which would promote transparency in Ohio’s campaign finance laws by closing dark money loopholes and strengthening the ban on foreign money contributions.

“Since the 2010 Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case, a small group of incredibly wealthy individuals and organizations have contributed billions of dollars to influence the outcomes of our elections, drowning out the voices of working families and small businesses,” Fedor said. “As a result, big money special interests wield far too much influence over our elections behind closed doors.”

Senate Bill 349 would close dark money loopholes that allow non-profit corporations like 501(c)(4)s and limited liability companies (LLCs) to keep the identity of their funders and owners secret. The Ohio Anti-Corruption Act closes these loopholes, requiring these corporations and LLCs to disclose contributions meant to influence elections.

Senate Bill 349 also strengthens the ban on campaign contributions from domestic companies with foreign owners and decision makers. The ban applies to companies with a single foreign individual or entity holding at least 5% ownership or a group of foreign individuals or entitites holding at least 20% ownership. Foreign companies would also not be able to circumvent the current foreign spending ban by opening an American subsidiary funded mostly with foreign money.

In recent years, there has been a drastic reduction in campaign finance transparency across the country. A study of six states – not including Ohio – by the Brennan Center for Justice found that in 2014, only 29% of outside spending was fully transparent, compared to 76% in 2006. Senate Bill 349 currently has companion legislation in the Ohio House, House Bill 739, which is joint sponsored by Representatives Bride Sweeney (D-Cleveland) and Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington).

“Lack of strong disclosure has corrupted our democracy, especially here in Ohio,” Fedor said. “We need greater transparency in order to hold our state leaders accountable and restore public trust in government.”
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