Atlanta

GA Secretary of State pushing bill to eliminate foreign money from state elections

ATLANTA — Georgia’s Secretary of State wants changes to Georgia law to better protect against foreign interference in our elections.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger wants it clear in Georgia law that no foreign money should make its way into campaign dollars.

But he also wants to set up a system to more closely monitor if lobbyists and consultants are getting foreign money.

“We want to make sure that there’s no foreign financing of any campaign or elections,” Raffensperger said.

Raffensperger told Channel 2 consumer investigator Justin Gray that in some states, a federal loophole has allowed foreign companies to advocate against or for state ballot measures.

That’s why he’s pushing for Senate Bill 368.

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“You also have people that could come from a foreign entity helping to fund a candidate through, you know, shell corporations,” Raffensperger said.

SB 368 not only prohibits foreign sources of funding from being used to influence elections, including any ballot measure but sets new state requirements for lobbyists and consultants requiring them to register and disclose work they are doing for foreign companies and governments and any money they are being paid by those interests.

“We have, you know, lots of lobbyists here and also consultants that are working for American companies. But if you work for a foreign entity, we believe you should be registered. We have prohibitions at the federal level. We need to have those prohibitions here at the state level,” Raffensperger said.

The bill has 10 sponsors in the state Senate. The bill’s next step it will take is being reviewed by the Ethics Committee.

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