The influence of money in national and state politics is hardly a new phenomenon, and it is starting to become more prevalent at the local level. In October 2017, the City of St. Petersburg, Florida passed a historic ordinance seeking to regulate political spending in its local elections. The Ordinance was popularly known as a rebuke to Citizens United due to the limits it placed on independent expenditures by political action committees. However, a lesser-known—but arguably more impactful—aspect of this local legislation was its attempted regulation of political spending by foreign corporations.

While the Supreme Court has confirmed that the existing ban on political contributions by foreign nationals extends to foreign corporations, the contours of a “foreign corporation” have never been defined. In the absence of any federal guidance, the St. Petersburg Ordinance provides the first attempt to define and regulate such an entity. This Comment, after explaining the Ordinance’s legal backdrop and operative parts, focuses on the constitutional issues that the Ordinance raises. It then explores anticipated arguments that are likely to be made by both sides if the Ordinance’s validity is challenged in litigation. Ultimately, while the resolution of these issues remains uncertain, an understanding of their nuances will be useful to local governments around the country that may be contemplating similar measures to protect the integrity of their elections.