CCP Submits Comments on California Senate Bill that would Silence Corporate Speech
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Center for Competitive Politics’ External Relations Director Matt Nese submitted comments today to the California Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee concerning Senate Bill 121, which would require both California corporations and foreign corporations doing business in the state to notify all of their shareholders 24 hours prior to making a political contribution or independent expenditure.
As a result, S.B. 121 places a heavy burden on corporations that choose to engage in political activity. Of further concern, the bill purports to regulate the political activity of any corporation with at least one shareholder residing in California, regardless of whether a corporation’s political activity occurs in the state. The bill also raises serious Equal Protection concerns, as it imposes regulatory burdens on corporate entities while not imposing similar requirements on labor unions.
According to Nese, “S.B. 121 imposes burdensome and impractical requirements on corporations. Under the auspices of shareholder protection, this bill will serve only to stifle speech, and will fail to meaningfully supplement existing shareholder safeguards. Moreover, the bill’s constitutionality is suspect.”
S.B. 121 will be heard before the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee today at 1:30 PT. A copy of the comments can be found here.
For more information, contact CCP Communications Director Sarah Lee at 770.598.7961.
The Center for Competitive Politics promotes and defends the First Amendment’s protection of the political rights of speech, assembly, and petition. It is the nation’s largest organization dedicated solely to protecting First Amendment political rights.