U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today sent a letter to all members of the Alaska State Legislature and to Governor Sean Parnell urging them to act quickly to make sure the intent of Alaska's strict campaign finance laws remain intact following a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
Two weeks ago the nation's highest court issued a decision which allows corporations to spend freely to support or oppose candidates for Congress or President. And, just yesterday, a legislative legal opinion was released in Alaska saying Alaska's own statues might not be enforced following the Supreme Court's decision.
"Allowing corporate money special interests to exercise too much influence over American political campaigns is a shameful step backwards," Sen. Begich writes. "This change in campaign finance law could give the appearance politicians are subject to the whims of the highest bidder."
Begich said he is particularly concerned about the view in Alaska that there will not only be no limits on independent expenditures by for-profit corporations, but also no statutory disclosures identifying the contributors or reporting requirements for the corporations.
"I urge you to take action this legislative session to ensure Alaska's campaign finance laws remain as strong as they were before the Supreme Court decision. I have pledged to work with my Senate colleagues to pass legislation on the federal level to correct this wrong," Begich said.
In closing, Begich tells lawmakers this is not a partisan issue, it affects Alaskans across the political spectrum.