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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Report: Foreign-influenced companies give big in WA elections

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Monday, February 5, 2024   

A report analyzed the impact of money from foreign-influenced corporations on elections in six states. Washington topped the list for most donations.

OpenSecrets looked at campaign donations from more than 800 companies with 5% aggregate foreign ownership or an individual foreign owner over 1%, to state-level elections between 2018 and 2022.

Washington state took in more than $67 million in contributions during that time. Anna Massoglia is the editorial and investigations manager for OpenSecrets.

"It really underscores the need for transparency to address the challenges posed by these companies," said Massoglia, "that are at least in part foreign owned and more need for the examination of the influence that they yield, as well as who's pulling the strings behind the scenes."

The energy company Phillips 66, Coca-Cola and BP were some of biggest contributors to Washington state elections.

Massoglia said there has been some attempt to crack down on the impact of foreign money on U.S. elections.

"In Washington, the Seattle City Council passed a bill banning political spending on local elections from corporations that met the same threshold for foreign influence," said Massoglia, "that 5% aggregate foreign ownership or 1% individual ownership. But even with that we were still seeing substantial money going into Washington at the state level."

The other states analyzed in this report were Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana and New York. Across the six states, OpenSecrets found more than $163 million in contributions.

Support for this reporting was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.



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