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Foreign Influence in Elections

Does federal law prohibit foreigners from owning shares in U.S. corporations that influence U.S. elections?

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Although federal law prohibits foreigners from directly spending money on U.S. political campaigns, it does not bar them from owning shares in U.S. media corporations that endorse political candidates and publish articles, commentaries, and videos that influence U.S. elections. For example, Mexican multi-billionaire Carlos Slim became the largest single shareholder of the New York Times Company in 2015 and later loaned the Times $250 million when the company "looked to be in peril." Hence, this foreigner played a major role in the ownership and advancement of a U.S. corporation that regularly influences U.S. elections.

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