Significant Constitutional and Practical Issues with Washington House Bill 1807

The Honorable Mark Miloscia The Honorable Hans Zeiger The Honorable Sam Hunt Re:  Significant Constitutional and Practical Issues with House Bill 1807 Dear Chair Miloscia, Vice Chair Zeiger, Ranking Minority Member Hunt, and Members of the Senate State Government Committee: On behalf of the Center for Competitive Politics, I am writing you today to respectfully […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Disclosure, Disclosure Comments, Disclosure State, External Relations Comments and Testimony, State, State Comments and Testimony, Buckley v. Valeo, Harassment, Human Life of Washington v. Brumsickle, Junk Disclosure, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life v. Swanson, NAACP v. Alabama, New Mexico Youth Organized v. Herrera, Washington

Failure of Campaign Self-Funders Highlights Once Again that Money Doesn’t Buy Elections

Last week, the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) published a blog post about the dismal track record of self-funding candidates who run for elected office. In the 2016 election cycle, such candidates only won their races about 12.5% of the time. Suffice it to say, eschewing fundraising does not tend to be a winning strategy. […]

Filed Under: Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, Center for Responsive Politics, CRP, Fundraising, Self-Funders

The Hill: Trump’s America should force the left to embrace corporate speech (In the News)

By Alex Baiocco
With confirmation hearings for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch fast approaching, the specter of corporate influence is sure to emerge once again in the headlines. Predictably, several Democratic Senators have already begun their diatribe against “big money corporate interests” and a nominee who “does not recognize that corporations are not people.”…
Democratic politicians and organizations that support an anti-speech agenda continue to push the narrative that corporate speech rights give corporations the right to “buy elections and run our government.” This is preposterous.
Everyone recognizes that protecting freedom of speech is good and desirable. The fact that a group of citizens is operating a business should not disqualify them from First Amendment protections. No, corporations are not people. And no, money is not speech.
But corporations are comprised of people with rights. And if those people choose to exercise their First Amendment right to make a political statement, they will need to spend money to do so effectively. To say that the First Amendment does not apply to U.S. businesses is to say that the First Amendment does not apply to the people who form and operate them.

Filed Under: Alex Baiocco, In the News, Published Articles

Daily Media Links 3/20: The important money-in-politics questions to ask Judge Gorsuch, Democratic lawmakers in Colorado introduce bills to reform campaign finance laws, and more…

In the News                                       The Hill: Trump’s America should force the left to embrace corporate speech By Alex Baiocco With confirmation hearings for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch fast approaching, the specter of corporate influence is sure to emerge once again in the headlines. Predictably, several Democratic Senators have already begun their […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

Neil Gorsuch, and the Supreme Court’s Role on Money in Politics

Democrats in Congress have signaled their intention to make campaign finance a major theme of the Gorsuch hearings this week. No doubt with that in mind, the anti-speech group Demos has rushed out a document criticizing past U.S. Supreme Court decisions that, they claim, have “benefited a small class of wealthy, white conservative men.” The […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Communications, Issues, Money in Politics, Buckley v. Valeo, campaign finance, Davis v. FEC, Demos, Donald Trump, Gorsuch, McCutcheon, Neil Gorsuch, PACs, Sierra Club, Supreme Court

Daily Media Links 3/17: Sen. Angus King seeks greater transparency for political contributions, Democratic super PAC goes after Trump’s Russia connections, and more…

Supreme Court                                       Reason: Chuck Schumer’s Indecent Attacks on Neil Gorsuch By David Harsanyi Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) now opposes a potential SCOTUS justice because he promises to be impartial when upholding the Constitution. Since Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing starts Monday in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and opponents have found “little to latch […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

Washington Examiner: The truth about Gorsuch’s record on ‘money in politics’ (In the News)

By David Keating & Luke Wachob
Democrats and progressives are losing their minds over President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch. One left-wing advocacy group released a video titled “3 Reasons to Fear Judge Gorsuch.” Number one? According to them, if Gorsuch is on the Supreme Court, “our elections could be completely handed over to the powerful and the wealthy.”
That ludicrous statement refers to Gorsuch’s concurring opinion in Riddle v. Hickenlooper, a campaign finance case. Riddle challenged Colorado’s contribution limit law as discriminatory.
Was it ever! It allowed major party candidates to raise twice as much money as minor party candidates and independents. Progressives love to say “money isn’t speech,” but Riddle wasn’t about that. It was about equality…
Should progressives worry that Gorsuch may rule against them on campaign finance cases? Probably, given the type of restrictions they support on your free speech.
The silly Colorado law struck down by the court – they wrote it! Common Cause and like-minded groups seeking speech limits put it on the ballot. The goal? Getting money out of politics, of course.

Filed Under: David Keating, In the News, Luke Wachob, Published Articles

Bloomberg BNA: Democrats to Probe Gorsuch Views on Campaign Finance (In the News)

By Kenneth P. Doyle
Democrats supporting campaign finance regulation have stopped short, so far, of outright opposition to Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, but key lawmakers said the burden of proof is on Gorsuch to show he won’t help extend the line of recent court decisions that rolled back limits on money in politics…
Republicans and groups critical of campaign regulation generally have supported the Gorsuch nomination. The Center for Competitive Politics, which says it is America’s “largest nonprofit defending First Amendment political speech rights,” applauded Trump’s selection of Gorsuch as a nominee for the Supreme Court.
The judge’s “opinions show an understanding that the role of a judge is not to enact his own preferences, but neither is it to rubber stamp the legislature,” said Bradley A. Smith, a former Republican commissioner on the FEC, who is chairman of the Center for Competitive Politics. “At a time when free speech often seems on the defensive, we are pleased that President Trump has nominated someone who will defend a robust First Amendment.”

Filed Under: Brad Smith, In the News, Quotes CCP

Daily Media Links 3/16: Sarbanes calls on Gorsuch to explain his position on campaign finance, Pro-Trump group launches ad buy boosting Gorsuch in 5 states, and more…

In the News                                        Washington Examiner: The truth about Gorsuch’s record on ‘money in politics’ By David Keating & Luke Wachob Democrats and progressives are losing their minds over President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch. One left-wing advocacy group released a video titled “3 Reasons to Fear Judge Gorsuch.” Number one? According to […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

PJ Media: South Carolina Bill Attacks Free Speech, Forces Donor Disclosure (In the News)

By Tyler O’Neil
On Tuesday, South Carolina’s Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing about S.255…
This bill is one of a number of disclosure laws which seek to fight “dark money” by requiring the disclosure of donors to issue-focused nonprofit groups which speak out on political issues…
“Politicians, in concert with activist groups, desire to make it more difficult for all but the most well-connected organizations to speak about public policy,” Scott Blackburn, research fellow at the Center for Competitive Politics (CCP), told PJ Media in an email statement.
“These type of bills are often aimed at silencing speech by exposing Americans to intimidation and harassment for voicing their opinions on issues they are passionate about,” Blackburn explained…
He laid out the formula behind such legislation: “Politician X doesn’t like a group criticizing his votes, and telling voters about it. He tries to pass a law to undermine their efforts, so that they won’t do it again. The bill affects far more speech and activity than anyone thought. Politician X doesn’t care, so long as it is harder to criticize him.”

Filed Under: In the News, Quotes CCP, Scott Blackburn