“It shall be unlawful for any national bank, or any corporation organized by authority of any laws of Congress, to make a money contribution in connection with any election to any political office.” The Tillman Act of 1907
The Tillman Act made it illegal for banks or corporations to contribute financially to political campaigns. The Act was passed by Roosevelt as a corrective to the Robber Barons who had essentially purchased the American democratic process. The article linked below is a useful history of how banks and corporations rose above the law and how we might bring them back under democratic jurisdiction.
The article begins by mentioning Madison’s call to a wall separating church and state and then compares that wall with the Tillman Act which protected our political process from corporate corruption. He claims that businesses are also hurt by losing their focus:
How many more millions of Americans would be working today if, rather than investing a billion dollars in Mitt Romney, the corporate elite had invested a billion dollars in research and development, new factories, new workers?
Rather than spending one hundred million dollars lobbying this year, what if the corporate elite used that money to give their workers health insurance, pensions, better wages?
To read the article, click here: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/12774-a-wall-between-corporation-and-state