Daily Media Links 9/19: Both parties to move on Facebook and other tech giants, A chilling study shows how hostile college students are toward free speech, and more…

In the News Law360: Texan FEC Pick Unlikely To Be Derailed By Tweet Drama By Michelle Casady Trainor has previously represented conservative group Empower Texans, which has fought the Texas Ethics Commission on the disclosure of political donors. But David Keating, president of the nonprofit group Center for Competitive Politics, an organization whose stated mission […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

Law360: Texan FEC Pick Unlikely To Be Derailed By Tweet Drama (In the News)

By Michelle Casady  
Trainor has previously represented conservative group Empower Texans, which has fought the Texas Ethics Commission on the disclosure of political donors.
But David Keating, president of the nonprofit group Center for Competitive Politics, an organization whose stated mission is to “promote and defend First Amendment rights” said there is a big difference between being a lawyer, paid to advocate for your client, and being a commissioner on the FEC. Naysayers may be conflating the two, he said.
Keating, who said he has met Trainor on a few occasions while in Austin testifying before the Texas Ethics Commission, said Trainer is “very knowledgeable” on election law.
“There are groups that don’t like him, so they’re trying to dig up what they can to make it controversial,” he said. “Trey clearly is someone who believes in free speech. I think he’s going to apply the law as it’s written and not come up with a hair-brained interpretation of what the law is.”
Keating said that although it is historically not common, senators have been able to block some “highly qualified” candidates for the post in the past, such as one put forward by Obama who had to withdraw his nomination, he said. He said he doesn’t think that will happen in Trainor’s case.

Filed Under: David Keating, In the News, Quotes CCP

Daily Media Links 9/18: The Unaccountable IRS, Bill allowing unlimited political spending by corporations, unions passes state Senate, and more…

IRS Weekly Standard: The Unaccountable IRS By The Editors On September 8, Donald Trump’s Justice Department announced it would not be reopening an investigation into the conduct of Lois Lerner, the IRS official responsible for targeting and harassing conservative groups in the 2010 and 2012 elections. That investigation had ended in 2015, when Barack Obama’s […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

Bloomberg BNA: Conservatives, Reporters, Farmers Back Robber at Supreme Court (In the News)

By Jordan S. Rubin 
Though the justices are asked to decide whether the Fourth Amendment applies in Carpenter’s case, some of the outside briefs are concerned with another amendment: the First.
One of the First Amendment-focused briefs comes from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 19 media organizations. Another was filed by a diverse band of racial justice and economic freedom groups, led by the Center for Competitive Politics, an organization whose goal, according to its website, is “to promote and defend the First Amendment’s rights to freely speak, associate, assemble, publish, and petition the government.”… 
The competitive politics brief’s concern is that, in “a world where tracking information is so precise that individual rooms can be differentiated, the locations of multiple people can be amalgamated, allowing the government to assemble an extraordinarily precise picture of citizens’ memberships, meetings, and associations.”
Thus, “the government’s warrantless access to this information threatens Americans’ First Amendment right ‘to pursue their lawful private interests privately and to associate freely with others in so doing,'” they argue, quoting NAACP v. Alabama…
A ruling against Carpenter, then, could “discourage Americans from engaging in public gatherings and private meetings of all types, chilling both social and political association and the collective speech it fosters,” they conclude. 

Filed Under: In the News, Quotes CCP

Daily Media Links 9/15: U.S. election agency seeks comment after Facebook cites Russian ads, As G.O.P. Moves to Fill Courts, McConnell Takes Aim at an Enduring Hurdle, and more…

In the News Bloomberg BNA: Conservatives, Reporters, Farmers Back Robber at Supreme Court By Jordan S. Rubin Though the justices are asked to decide whether the Fourth Amendment applies in Carpenter’s case, some of the outside briefs are concerned with another amendment: the First. One of the First Amendment-focused briefs comes from the Reporters Committee […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

The Washington Post Smears Free Speech by Some Groups, Not Others

Last week, The Washington Post ran an article titled, “A two-decade crusade by conservative charities fueled Trump’s exit from Paris climate accord.” Of course, a two-decade campaign to force an exit from the Paris Agreement would not make sense – the agreement was only adopted in 2015, and President Trump had already promised during his […]

Filed Under: Blog, Media Watch, CEI, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Myron Ebell, Nonprofit Advocacy, Paris Climate Accord, The Washington Post

Daily Media Links 9/14: Congress Considers Changes to Trade Association Prior Approval Rules, Senate Panel Likely to Ask Facebook to Publicly Detail Russian Activity on Platform During Election, and more…

CCP CCP Job Opening: Attorney, First Amendment Litigation The Center for Competitive Politics is expanding its litigation team. We are looking for an experienced attorney to take a leading, independent role in First Amendment cases brought in federal and state courts. [Please click on the link above for a detailed description of job responsibilities, requirements, […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

Daily Media Links 9/13: Trump nominates Texas lawyer Trey Trainor for Federal Election Commission, The Better IRS Reform, and more…

FEC Washington Examiner: Trump to nominate Texas lawyer to FEC By Diana Stancy Correll The White House announced Tuesday evening that President Trump intends to nominate James Trainor III of Texas to be a commissioner of the Federal Election Commission for the remainder of a 6-year term, which would last until April 2021. Once officially […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

National Review: Is Big Ice Cream Trying to Hijack Our Democracy? (In the News)

By Joe Albanese
It may shock you to learn that the multimillionaire co-founder of a global ice-cream empire has been meeting with elected officials in the hopes of fundamentally altering our Constitution. This individual proposes amending the Bill of Rights for the first time to give Congress nearly unlimited power to limit political speech.
That’s right – Big Ice Cream is trying to undermine our democracy. Or at least that’s how it would be put if the wealthy founder of some other, less progressive company tried the same tactics.
In late August, Ben Cohen – the “Ben” in Ben & Jerry’s – appeared at a Philadelphia rally hosted by American Promise, an organization that effectively wants to rewrite the First Amendment…
There is certainly nothing wrong with Cohen’s expressing his views on a political issue. In the past, he has argued that “corporations can serve the needs of society,” in keeping with the increasing demands of the left for progressive corporate activism. The problem is that Cohen’s campaign-finance platform would curtail for others the right that he so proudly exercises – namely, the ability to dedicate resources to causes he cares about. 

Filed Under: In the News, Joe Albanese, Published Articles

NMPolitics.net: New Mexicans should be suspicious of secretary of state’s anti-privacy rulemaking (In the News)

By Bradley Smith and Paul Gessing
Doug Nickle’s recent column (“Campaign reporting proposal creates necessary, nation-leading disclosure in NM”) is an example of Orwellian doublespeak at its best…
Even as Nickle urges support for rules reducing citizen privacy, he avers that the organization he lobbies for, Take Back Our Republic, “believe[s] in the individual’s right to both privacy and free speech” and “[t]hat’s why we support New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver’s proposed rules and regulations.” When the stated purpose of rules is to reduce personal privacy, yet a person tells you he supports them because he believes in privacy, perhaps it is time to be suspicious.
Noting that supporters of privacy have argued that “transparency is for government; privacy is for people,” Nickle also claims, “We couldn’t agree more – which is why we point out that the privacy of any individual or group who gives within the legally prescribed threshold is fully protected; their personal information remains undisclosed.” In other words, your privacy is protected, but only until it crosses a “legally prescribed threshold,” at which point your information will be posted online by government order. 

Filed Under: Brad Smith, In the News, Published Articles