Not a “loophole” anymore

In the past, articles in the online magazine Salon.com have referred to 527 groups as "shadowy", "stealth PACs", that "clearly enjoy a loophole in the campaign finance regime that ought to be plugged." 

We were both surprised and pleased to see that their most recent article on the subject avoids this rhetoric altogether.  The article also demonstrates that political minorities may have the most to lose if the 527 "loophole" is closed.

Click the headline to read more.

Filed Under: Blog

[Re]gress for America

The FEC declined to answer Progress for America’s request for advice by a vote of 4-2 (Chairman Toner, Comm’r von Spakovsky dissenting), calling it "past action, rather than present or intended activity."

As the Commission adopts more ambiguous standards, like those in the Sierra Club MUR, failing to give advice seems somehow unforgivable.

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Filed Under: Blog

If you can’t beat ’em, sue ’em

A pair of lawsuits seek to nullify the reelections of five Alabama state senators for alleged failure to comply with state campaign finance reporting requirements.  Attorney Mark Montiel calls his lawsuit, "a test of the system."  What he’s really testing is Alabamians’ patience for political gamesmanship in the name of campaign finance regulation.

Click the headline to read more. 

Filed Under: Blog

Coercing ExxonMobil; Constraining CEI: A Harbinger of Grassroots Lobbying Disclosure

Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi has promised to "break the link between lobbyists and legislation," and has included in that program proposals for grassroots lobbying disclosure. 

Before signing on, both Left and Right should look at Sens. Snowe and Rockefeller’s recent treatment of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and ExxonMobil.

Click on the title to read more.

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, lobbying, lobbyist

Any Given Tuesday (On the Road to the Tuesday They’re Focusing On)

There is instrumentalism in reform.  Who will win, and who loses, is calculated and anticipated, but ultimately unknown.

Perhaps the events of a single Tuesday can indicate what may happen 100 Tuesdays from now. 

Click on the title to read more 

Filed Under: Blog

Goodbye to Voter Guides? Frankenstein’s Monster Strikes Again

UPDATE:  An abbreviated version of this post by CCP Chairman Brad Smith is available in this week’s Roll Call ($) — "FEC Ruling on Voter Guides Sets Bad Precedent".

A confused Federal Election Commission has issued an important ruling against the Sierra Club, one that may spell the end for voter guides.  Click the headline to see how "Frankenstein’s Monster" has struck again. 

Filed Under: Blog

On Redistricting

CCP Chairman Brad Smith and Ned Foley, Director of the Election Law Program at Ohio State University Moritz School of Law, have co-authored this piece on redistricting reform in the Columbus Dispatch.

Filed Under: Blog

Journalists should avoid cliches like the plague

Is the right of potential candidates to consider carefully whether to run for the most powerful political office in the world a "tired cliche?"  It is according to a new column from the Associated Press, ominously titled "With toes in water, hopefuls hide funds".

We think the "tired cliche" is campaign finance reporting that misrepresents the law and evinces a reflexive skepticism towards any unregulated political activity.

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Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog

How many chances do they need?

Yesterday in the L.A. Times, columnist George Skelton post-mortemed Prop. 89, the public financing initiative that California voters overwhelmingly rejected last Tuesday.  His conclusion: "Campaign fund reform deserves another chance." 

Given that more voters opposed public financing (5,214,297 voters) than supported enhanced penalties for sex offenders (5,038,809 voters), it seems unlikely that Californians will be eager to give it another chance anytime soon.  But does Skelton know something that the 5+ million Californians who rejected public financing don’t?  Or does he know something that advocates of public financing don’t?

On the first question, we don’t think so.  On the second, read on and find out…the answer might surprise you.

Click the headline to read more.

Filed Under: Blog

The Significance in Parody; the Significance of Reform

The Onion skewers the campaign finance "reform" movement in its inimitable style.

It is easy to pass quickly on the humor, and quickly past the message.  What might the Onion really be saying?

Click on the title to read more…

Filed Under: Blog