FEC Fox News: FEC opening door to Internet regulation – again? Adam Shaw The commission also split 3-3 in a recent case that asked if the Internet exemption also exempts a webcast of a discussion with political candidates that provides a link to contribute to candidates. The Republicans said it was exempt; the Democrats disagreed. […]
Last week, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) penned an op-ed in The Washington Post about the investigations of ExxonMobil by several state attorneys general. The Senators lauded efforts to accuse the oil company of fraud for allegedly advancing skepticism about the impacts of its products on climate change. Despite downplaying these moves […]
Filed Under: Blog, American Legislative Exchange Council, climate change, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Elizabeth Warren, Eric Schneiderman, ExxonMobil, sheldon whitehouse, U.S. Virgin Islands, Massachusetts, New York
Kenneth P. Doyle
The proposal by Democratic FEC Commissioner Ann Ravel, which is on the agenda for an Aug. 16 commission meeting, calls for rescinding a decade-old FEC advisory opinion that allowed a U.S. domestic subsidiary of a foreign-based company to establish a corporate political action committee and pay for the PAC’s administrative costs…
FEC Democrats repeatedly have warned that campaign spending by corporations and other outside groups since the 2010 Citizens United ruling could open the door to foreign influence in U.S. politics. Republicans have countered that the supposed threat of foreign money is overblown and meant to provide cover for Democrats to impose a broader regulatory agenda.
After an FEC-sponsored forum on the issue in June, Republican election lawyer Bradley Smith, a former FEC commissioner who heads of the nonprofit Center for Competitive Politics, said foreign money already is illegal in U.S. campaigns, and there was “no evidence of any significant efforts by foreigners to circumvent the prohibition”
Sen. Ben Allen’s SB 1107 wants to allow public funding of campaigns, something voters prohibited years ago. A long time acquaintance of mine, David Keating who now runs the Center for Competitive Politics in Washington, D.C. had an opinion piece in yesterday’s Orange County Register blasting the attempt by Sen. Allen to overturn a vote of the people with what Keating says is an unconstitutional bill. The voters outlawed public financing of campaigns with Proposition 73 in 1988. As someone who signed the ballot argument in favor of Proposition 73, I agree with Keating’s assessment. If legislators want public financing, legislators can’t do it on their own—they have to ask the voters.
Allen and supporters of SB 1107 claim that they are following the rules of the proposition that allow for legislative changes that “further the purposes” of the initiative. However, as Keating argues in his piece, “How can a bill “further [the] purpose” of the law banning tax-funded campaigns by allowing for tax-financed campaigns? The answer is: It can’t.”
The IRS scandal has been a major point of conservative criticism during the last several years of the Obama Administration. When the tax-collecting agency specifically targeted groups whose descriptions included keywords and phrases such as “Tea Party,” “patriot,” and “teaching about the Constitution” for extra scrutiny in their applications for tax-exempt status, many said it […]
Amicus Brief: Coloradans for a Better Future v. Campaign Integrity Watchdog, LLC (Colorado Supreme Court)
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The Federal Election Commission recently voted along party lines on the issue of whether to impose sanctions on a nonprofit that posted a video on YouTube (for free) critical of Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) position on the Iranian nuclear deal without first reporting publication of the video to the agency. The Democratic commissioners have voted […]