September 20th, 2010, Fairfax, VA—In his weekly radio address, Barack Obama claimed that “foreign-controlled corporations seeking to influence our democracy are able to spend freely in order to swing an election toward a candidate they prefer,” prompting Americans for Limited Government (ALG) President Bill Wilson to call him to task for “misleading the public.”
“It is already illegal for foreign nationals or corporations to donate to political organizations, period, or to engage in electioneering,” Wilson said.
“Any organization, whether or not it engages in electioneering must file tax returns to the IRS, which include who donates,” Wilson explained. Organizations must file form 990’s, which include Schedule B’s for disclosing donations over specified amounts depending on the type of organization. Minimum net donations which must be included in the forms can range from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the group.
“The IRS can already trace where money comes from, so Obama is wrong,” Wilson said, adding, “If Obama is accusing organizations engaged in electioneering of accepting foreign donations, the law already provides the mechanism to enforce the ban on foreign money being used. It’s called an audit.”
Obama was attempting to generate public support for the so-called DISCLOSE Act, which would force donations to be also posted publicly.
Wilson said that was not necessary to enforce the ban on foreign money, concluding, “Barack Obama is wrong. No change in law is necessary to enforce the ban on foreign involvement in elections. It’s already illegal, and the IRS is fully capable of conducting audits if there is an accusation that a political organization engaged in electioneering is accepting foreign money.”
Interview Availability: Please contact Richgard Manning at (703) 383-0880 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.