Americans Prefer Presidential Candidates to Forego Public Funding…

So says the headline at the Gallup Organization, and who are we to disagree?  It’s not even close – the margin is 56%-39%.  Only 20% think that the "record amounts" being raised will lead to a worse president.  What is most interesting to us, though, is that support for government financing drops as income drops – that is, the poorest are those most likely to oppose tax financing, by a 65% to 29% margin once income falls below $30,000.  This supports our longstanding suspicion that government financing is a plaything of the well to do.  It is, as Justice Breyer might call him, "Joe Moneybags" who wants the government to pick up the tab, not "Ordinary Joe."

Filed Under: Blog

Brad Smith in Rollcall on “reformers” and revisionism

CCP Chairman Brad Smith responds to David Vance of CLC, who last week accused campaign finance critics of "revisionist" history with regard to the goals of McCain-Feingold.  Smith demonstrates that it is Vance who is rewriting history.  

Money quote:

"Mr. Vance can play little games with who said exactly what, and characterize his opponents how he chooses, but the fact is that McCain-Feingold is a rather obvious failure. If one thought McCain-Feingold would reduce the time candidates spend raising money, or that it would keep money–big money, soft money, corporate money, union money, little money, or lots of money–out of politics, they were sadly mistaken."

Click here ($) to read the whole thing. 

Update: We’ve now made the entire op-ed available to our readers.  Click the headline for more.

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

An Unsatisfying Conclusion to the Mark Green Fiasco

In earlier posts last autumn, found here and here, we note how the case of Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Mark Green showed how campaign finance laws can turn into dangerous tools of political chicanery.  The case is finally at an end, with a settlement in which the Democratic majority on the Wisconsin State Elections Board extracted a fig leaf of cover for itself and let Green off the hook – now that Democrat Jim Doyle has been safely re-elected.

State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser has a sharply worded concurrence with the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s order last week accepting the settlement between Green and the Elections Board and dismissing the case.  We’ve got some juicy excerpts below the fold – click the headline to get at them.

Filed Under: Blog

And Now for Something Completely Different

For your weekend pleasure, we have some outside the box thinking. Click the headline.

Filed Under: Blog

Steve Hoersting on C-Span

CCP Executive Director Steve Hoersting will be on Washington Journal (C-Span) tomorrow morning (4/28) to discuss FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc.  Tune in around 7:45 a.m. to watch it live or click here to watch it on the web once it’s posted.

Filed Under: Blog

Retirements at the FEC

It’s a big week for campaign finance litigation, what with oral argument in FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life and the Washington state Supreme Court’s decision in No New Gas Tax v. San Juan County.  But we can still pause to reflect on a couple more retirements at the FEC.  General Counsel Larry Norton and his top aide, Jim Kahl, left earlier in the year.  This month, the Associate General Counsels for both Enforcement and Litigation have resigned or retired.  A few words below the fold (i.e. click on the headline for more).

Filed Under: Blog

More on NNGT

It’s unanimous, talk radio hosts in Washington state are free to promote ballot measures.  Frankly, it’s difficult to find much to say about that result, it being so obviously correct, but the court’s decision does have a couple of interesting facets.

Click the headline for more.

Filed Under: Blog

Breaking News: Victory for Free Speech in Washington State

The Washington State Supreme Court has issued its decision in San Juan County v. No New Gas Tax.  Analysis to follow.  Congratulations to the Institute for Justice for their excellent work litigating the case. 

The majority opinion: LINK

The concurrence: LINK

CCP’s press release: LINK  

CCP’s amicus brief: LINK

Filed Under: Blog

Random Thoughts on Wisconsin Right to Life

I don’t usually like pontificating on what the Supreme Court might do, and I see no reason to repeat what qualified experts are saying elsewhere.  But I do have a few thought’s on Wednesday’s argument in Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life that I’m not seeing elsewhere.  Click the headline if you’re curious as to what they are!

Filed Under: Blog

Washington Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Free Speech

ARLINGTON, VA – The Washington Supreme Court unanimously upheld the freedom of the press with its decision today in San Juan County v No New Gas Tax. The case was being watched closely by free speech advocates nationwide.

"The First Amendment can breathe a sigh of relief today," said former chair of the Federal Election Commission and Center for Competitive Politics chairman Bradley Smith. "The Court wisely decided that government cannot prohibit the media from participating in public debate."

Filed Under: External Relations Press Releases, External Relations Sub-Pages, Federal, Federal Press Releases and Blogs, Press Releases