The Battle Over Campaign Finance Regulation Gets Physical – Really

Debates over campaign finance reform often get sharp and sometimes personal, but this is the first time we’ve seen this!

Of course, the founding father of reform, Senator Ben Tillman, for whom the Tillman Act (banning corporate contributions in federal campaigns) was named, was once censured by the Senate for attacking a colleague on the floor, so it seems fitting it comes to this as we celebrate this year the 100th anniversary of the Tillman Act.

Filed Under: Blog

Why People Don’t Understand Campaign Finance Laws

Daily we are faced with anecdotal reminders of Stephen Ansolabehere’s work demonstrating that the more people read newspapers, the more likely they are to be incorrect in their understanding of campaign finance laws.  Today we want to highlight a particularly invidious example of the way the press decreases – not increases, but decreases – public understanding of campaign finance laws and money in politics.  Click the headline.

Filed Under: Blog

It’s not funny

After proposing a campaign finance bill that expands taxpayer financing in New York City while reducing the rights of some New Yorkers based on their occupation, Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried to lighten the mood. 

According to the New York Sun, when asked why his proposal included no restrictions on self-financed candidates, Bloomberg said, “I suggest before anyone goes into office, first go out and become a billionaire.” 

While CCP strongly believes in an individual’s right to run a self-financed campaign, Bloomberg’s quip—and the kernel of truth it contains—only adds insult to the injury that his proposal would cause. 

Click the headline to read what else isn’t funny about Bloomberg’s proposal.

Filed Under: Blog

Learning on the Job: Fred Thompson and Campaign Finance Regulation

Senator Fred Thompson now finds him in the position of explaining his vote for the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law.  We believe that poor policy decisions become clearer over time, as Thompson and others seem to be learning.

Thompson’s learning curve is far from complete.  But what matters in the long run is that he and other policy makers do, in fact, learn. 

Click on the title to read more. 

Filed Under: Blog

CCP Accepting Applications for Staff Attorney

Across the country, at the state and federal level, free speech is being attacked under the guise of campaign finance "reform."  Want to do something about it?  The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) is seeking a Staff Attorney to join our team and help us fight political speech regulation.

Click the headline for more information on the position. 

Filed Under: Press Releases

Feature Creep & “Reform”

Whether familiar with the term or not, everyone technically savvy enough to be reading this blog is probably familiar with the phenomenon known as "feature creep."  Feature creep is the process that results in "fifty-button remote controls, digital cameras with hundreds of mysterious features and book-length manuals, and cars with dashboard systems worthy of the space shuttle."

Why does this happen?  And why are we writing about it? 

Click the headline to read more.

Filed Under: Blog

What Motivates Opposition to Restrictions on Political Speech

Meredith McGeehee, a lobbyist for the Campaign Legal Center, has a post at CLC’s blog that purports to explain opposition to regulation of political speech in three easy lessons.  And we have a few thoughts that explain why McGeehee and crew draw all the wrong conclusions.  Click the headline for more. 

Filed Under: Blog