Political Pull at the FEC

On Monday the FEC rejected a proposal to pass an interim rule allowing for grassroots issue ads to air during campaign season.  The proposal failed on a 3-3 vote, all three Republican Commissioners voting in favor, and the three Democrats opposed.  It then rejected a proposal to open rule making to write a permanent rule, on an identical vote.  It then rejected a proposal to ask the staff to draft proposals for a notice of proposed rule making; again it was rejected on a 3-3 vote.

There are some interesting politics to this: click the headline for more. 

Filed Under: Blog

The Millionaires’ Amendment: Making Elections More Fair?

The FEC has concluded in an advisory opinion that personal spending in the Washington State Republican primary by U.S. Senate Candidate Michael McGavick does not trigger the “Millionaire’s Amendment” for Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell. 

As a matter of law, the FEC’s ruling is correct.  As a matter of policy, it illustrates the problems with trying to regulate campaign finance in the name of “fairness.”

 Read on by clicking the headline. 

Filed Under: Blog, Washington

Amicus Brief: FreeEats.Com, Inc. v. North Dakota Amicus Brief

Download Amicus Brief

Filed Under: Completed Amicus Briefs, Legal, Legal Center, amicus brief, free eats, Amicus Briefs, Completed Cases (Amicus), Amicus Briefs, Completed Cases (Amicus)

Reporter Alert: The New York Times and a “Grassroots” Lobbying Exception

The Federal Election Commission is poised this week to consider crafting a regulation providing a limited grassroots lobbying exception to McCain-Feingold’s 60 day pre-election limitations on broadcast advertising that mentions a candidate.  The New York Times has an editorial on it, but it’s not one from which a person could actually learn anything.  In fact, like so many Times editorials, it helps to explain why the more people read newspapers, the less they know about campaign finance laws.  Click on the title link for a little more factual understanding of the issue behind this latest Times temper tantrum.

Filed Under: Blog

Has Tax Funding of Presidential Elections Been a Success?

Last week, the campaign finance pro-regulatory community launched a coordinated media effort to drum up support for increasing the federal budget earmark for presidential campaign subsidies.  At the root of these efforts to earmark more tax dollars for the "public" financing system is a belief that, in the words of two prominent advocates of regulation, "the presidential public financing system served the country well for most of its thirty-year existence."

 But by why criteria has the system "served the country well?"  By what criteria should it be measured?  These are questions the regulatory advocates don’t ask, let alone answer. 

Filed Under: Blog

Block the Vote: Abusing Election Laws to Limit Competition

In this Washington Post op-ed, former Federal Election Commission Chairman and CCP Senior Advisor Bradley Smith notes the growing use of election laws to stifle competition rather than assure orderly elections.  The article deals with laws regulating access to the ballot.  It is worth noting, however, that campaign finance laws are also abused in this fashion.

Filed Under: Blog

CCP Academic Advisor Allison R. Hayward Asks: Buckley as Superprecedent?

CCP Academic Advisor and Law Professor Allison R. Hayward, of George Mason University Law School, examines whether Buckley has become unassailable.  Review a draft of The Per Curiam Opinion of Steel: Buckley v. Valeo as Superprecedent?  Clues from Wisconsin and Vermont, forthcoming in the Cato Supreme Court Review, and available now on SSRN.

Filed Under: Blog

Newsreel III

JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia — The girl in the gold Lexus waved at Husam Thobaity.  She was in the back seat, covered by a black veil that hid everything but her eyes.

"She had the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen," Thobaity recalled.  " So I gave her my number by Bluetooth."

Click on the title above to read more. 

Filed Under: Blog

CCP Advisor Herb Alexander Honored by IPSA

Herb Alexander, a member of CCP’s Board of Academic Advisors, Professor Emeritus at the University of Southern California and founder and Director Emeritus of the Citizen’s Research Foundation, has been named Life President of the International Political Science Association Research Committee on Political Finance and Corruption.

The nation’s most respected authority on political finance, Professor Alexander is the author or editor of over 15 books and 100 articles, plus dozens of editorial columns.  Over the past five decades he has advised Presidents, members of Congress, and dozens of commissions and agencies on campaign finance issues and policy.  CCP is honored to have his support and advice, and congratulates him on this latest honor.

Filed Under: Blog

When the Law is Used to Stifle Competition

Campaign and election laws are often used to stifle, not enhance political competition. 

Filed Under: Blog, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas