Election law committee considers bills limiting foreign campaign spending

Activists say legislation is important to close loopholes for campaign contributions

BOSTON (WWLP) – Lawmakers are looking at public comments on 30 bills including proposals to update reporting requirements for candidates, enhance transparency in campaign finance, and limit campaign contributions.

The state’s Joint Committee on Election Laws heard from the public on Wednesday regarding bills dealing with campaign finance. One bill would limit political spending by foreign-influenced corporations.

Pam Wilmot of the watchdog organization Common Cause said this legislation is important to close loopholes for campaign contributions, amid concerns about allegations of Russian meddling in last November’s presidential election.

“If they make a corporation, they can buy Facebook ads,” Wilmot explained. “They can buy TV ads. They can do all that stuff.”

Facebook announced this month that it will provide congress with access to more than 3,000 Russia-linked ads.

The bill still has a long way to go. The committee is currently reviewing public testimony on the bills before making recommendations.