This article explores the policy bases for, and the political economy of, the law's long-standing discrimination against corporate political speech. This Article also explores the relevance of state law regulation of corporate political speech to the competition between the states for corporate charters. In the process, implications for the current political debate over soft money and the current academic debates over enacting an optional federal corporate takeover law regime and creating a securities law regulatory competition are noted. The underlying aim of this Article is to bring to bear on the relevant policy debates a shift in focus from the shareholder/manager agency relationship to the agency relationship between lawmakers and society. The Article draws on the contractarian view of the firm, the economic theory of regulation, and the study of public choice.

Date of this Version

June 2003