Failure to Learn from Scandal

Activists continue pushing for non-expert agencies to regulate speech
For Release: October 30, 2013   Contact: Joe Trotter   Phone: 210-352-0055 (Cell)
The Center for Competitive Politics President David Keating released a statement on this afternoon’s Public Citizen press briefing:
“The effort to make the IRS into a campaign finance law enforcement agency created one of the worst scandals in IRS’s history.  Today’s effort to draw the Securities and Exchange Commission into regulating political speech shows that many have failed to learn the valuable lesson from the IRS scandal – don’t ask agencies to do jobs they don’t know how to do.  The SEC is ill-suited to police speech and efforts to drag the agency into this arena are fraught with danger.  It would sidetrack the SEC from its mission of protecting investors and threaten First Amendment rights.
“As for the comments to the SEC, these are ginned up by partisans with a political agenda.  Fewer than .01% of the 640,000 comments contain unique text and relevant arguments.
“Citizens and lawmakers benefit from more speech and more information, not less.  The SEC should learn from the IRS scandal and stay out of regulating political speech and focus on its mission.”
The Center for Competitive Politics today published an analysis of the SEC comments, available here.  For additional information, please check out this Wall Street Journal article by Yale Law corporate finance and securities professor Jonathan Macey, and former FEC Chairman Bradley A. Smith and CCP Legal Director Allen Dickerson’s recently published entry in the Harvard Business Law Review’s Symposium on Corporate Political Spending, titled The Non-Expert Agency: Using the SEC to Regulate Partisan Politics.

The Center for Competitive Politics promotes and defends the First Amendment’s protection of the political rights of speech, assembly, and petition. It is the nation’s largest organization dedicated solely to protecting First Amendment political rights.