Tester’s “Dark Money” Bogeyman

Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) bemoans the difficulties of running for Senate in today’s “post-Citizens United” world. In an event hosted by the Sunlight Foundation and ReThink Media on Tuesday, Tester declared that the “lack of transparency” in campaigns “is real and it is hurting democracy.” All of this “dark money,” he lamented is causing a [...]

Filed Under: Blog

The wit and wisdom of Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders, the Socialist Senator from Vermont, was very upset today when his proposal to amend the Constitution to remove First Amendment protections from most political speech went down. Reports a syncophantic Ed O’Keefe at the Washington Post, “Failing to pass the constitutional amendment this week ‘means that the average American has one vote and [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Bernie Sanders, Ed O'Keefe, Foster Friess, George Soros, Kochs, Penny Pritzker, Sheldon Adelson, Tom Steyer

DoubleSpeak: "Dark Money"

This is the second in a series of posts analyzing the language used in debates about campaign finance laws and regulations. Supporters of increased regulation of campaign financing, like all public policy advocates, have a specific lexicon that they use in order to bolster their arguments and convince the public that action is needed. Unfortunately, [...]

Filed Under: Blog

New Wesleyan-CRP Report Suffers from Old Flaws

The Wesleyan Media Project and the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) have a new report out on independent spending in 2014 Senate races. Unfortunately, as with previous offerings from Wesleyan and CRP, the report suffers from a number of noteworthy flaws that cloud its analysis. For starters, Wesleyan’s definition of political advertising is much broader [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Money in Politics

Whether disclosure is forced or banned, regulating politics is a dangerous path

In the Washington Post, political science professors Bertram J. Levine and Michael Johnston offer a somewhat unusual proposal for reforming campaign finance disclosure laws: make all contributions anonymous. This proposal first gained widespread attention with a book by Ian Ayres and Bruce Ackerman in 2002, “Voting With Dollars: A New Paradigm for Campaign Finance.” The [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Uncategorized

Independence Institute Sues Colorado

For more information on the case, check out our backgrounder and resource page!

Filed Under: Blog, Independence Institute Other Links

Independent Spending and Independent Voters

Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts is conflicted about trends in the state’s August 26 primary. On the one hand, she is dismayed that “Already, more than $5 million in dark money has been spent trying to influence your vote by … well, we don’t really know who it is who so badly wanted you to [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Arizona

Lawsuit challenges McCain-Feingold disclosure law

The Center for Competitive Politics today filed two lawsuits on behalf of a Colorado think tank saying that similar state and federal campaign finance disclosure laws are unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The Independence Institute wishes to run two ads: one asking Colorado Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennett to support a federal sentencing reform [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Independence Institute Other Links, Press Releases

The value of an endorsement

Former Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson has pled guilty to falsifying campaign finance reports. Apparently, in 2008, an operative of Ron Paul’s presidential campaign, Dmitri Kasari, offered Sorenson $8,000 a month to switch his support from Michelle Bachmann to Rep. Paul. The payments were reported through other vendors. Sorenson was eventually paid at least $73,000. [...]

Filed Under: Blog, campaign finance reform, Dmitri Kasari, Kent Sorenson, Michelle Bachmann

15 Things Vox Forgot to Mention about “Money in Politics” (Part II)’s “40 charts that explain money in politics” fails miserably at, well, explaining money in politics. The charts seem to be less an explanation and more unproven innuendo about why money is supposedly ruining American democracy. What the collection of charts does do, however, is provide a window into some of the common misconceptions about [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Money in Politics, corruption, Disclosure, Good Governance, Vox