United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: Public Confidence in the Election Process (Video) 

Legal challenges involving political campaigns or elections present some of the most difficult, high-profile, and time-sensitive matters to come before federal courts. They also may test the bounds of judicial independence and the appearance of impartiality. Their consequences are often far-reaching. A panel of three distinguished election law experts will participate in a conversation to help navigate through this thicket. They will discuss perennial issues arising in election law, such as the Voting Rights Act, redistricting, and the regulation of money in politics. They also will tackle several more recent hot topics, including voter fraud, voter suppression and protection, the regulation of micro-targeting, the Purcell principle (relating to court-ordered changes shortly before an election), the Electoral College, faithless electors, and foreign interference with U.S. elections.

Filed Under: Brad Smith, Broadcast, Video, Audio, In the News

Daily Media Links 10/10: New TIGTA Report on “Inappropriate” Criteria for Evaluating Exemption Applications, The people paying for California political ads might be easier to identify under this new state law, and more…

In the News The Hill: A lesson on abuse of power by Obama and his Senate allies By Bradley A. Smith Republicans on Capitol Hill are outraged by the announcement that the Department of Justice would stick with the Obama administration decision not to prosecute Lois Lerner… But congressional Republicans always set the bar both […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links, Uncategorized

Daily Media Links 10/6: IRS Scrutiny Akin to Tea-Party Controversy Also Ensnared Some Left-Leaning Groups, Inspector General Says, Lawmakers weigh pushing Facebook, Twitter to share who buys political ads, and more…

Free Speech Washington Post: Emory University Open Expression Committee opinion on limited public forums By Eugene Volokh The opinion has no formal precedential value, as I understand it, but I suspect that in practice it will be quite influential. An excerpt: As we have explained in past opinions, Emory University is a private institution; therefore, […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

Daily Media Links 10/5: Senators to Pitch Bill Regulating Political Ads on Social Media, The Left Misunderstands the Power of the NRA, and more…

In the News Washington Examiner: The Left again tries to prohibit corporate giving to nonprofits and think tanks By Bradley A. Smith Although the CPA-Zicklin Index attracts a steady stream of media attention, it does not take seriously the potential value of corporate engagement in public policy discussions. Its authors claim merely to want corporations […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

Daily Media Links 10/4: Democrats preparing bill to regulate political ads on Facebook, History proves how dangerous it is to have the government regulate fake news, and more…

Free Speech New Yorker: Flip-Flopping on Free Speech By Jill Lepore In the half century between the elections of Governor Reagan and President Trump, the left and the right would appear to have switched sides, the left fighting against free speech and the right fighting for it. This formulation isn’t entirely wrong. An unwillingness to […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

Daily Media Links 10/3: Facebook turns over thousands of Russia-linked ads to Congress, Facebook Is Still In Denial About Its Biggest Problem, and more…

In the News CT Viewpoints: Finally, taxpayers might be off the hook for funding election campaigns By Alex Cordell So, after almost $75 million in taxpayer dollars, what have voters received from their “clean elections” program? Not much. An analysis by the Center for Competitive Politics found no change in the voting behavior of legislators […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

Washington Post: The most and least transparent companies for political spending (In the News)

By Jena McGregor 
The report released Tuesday, by the nonpartisan Center for Political Accountability and researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research, creates an index that ranks companies based on the disclosure, oversight and policies about their election-related spending…
The study ranks companies based on the information they provide on their web sites about factors such as payments to super PACs and tax-exempt organizations like 501(c)(4)s, whether or not senior managers or board members oversee political spending and activities, and what kind of policies they outline for how and where money can be spent…
One critic of the index is the Center for Competitive Politics’ Brad Smith, a former Federal Election Commission chair who says much political spending by corporations is already disclosed and that the index is a “one-size-fits-all” model that does not necessarily have corporations’ best interests at heart. He suggests those behind the index “tend to think corporate involvement is a bad thing — they want to get corporations not to participate. But most Americans, I think, believe corporations do have a role to play in terms of politics.”

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

Daily Caller: Is Facebook Using Foreign Influence As An Excuse To Censor Conservatives? (In the News)

By Michael Thielen 
Political speech is rightly entitled to the highest level of protection under the First Amendment, as freedom to discuss political views and criticize the government form the foundation of our constitutional system of government.
Foreign persons and entities are completely prohibited from making contributions or spending money related to any federal, state, or local election in the U.S. …
In Congress, Democrats have recently introduced the DISCLOSE Act of 2017 aimed at “reforming” the FEC to give it greater power to restrict speech and enacting more burdensome requirements on political speech. While this proposal is couched in the currently popular language about foreign interference in our elections, it is just a recycled version of legislation introduced annually since Citizens United was decided in 2010, as a barely disguised and unconstitutional effort to overturn it…
While we may resent many attempts at interference in our elections, it is more of a foreign policy matter than a campaign finance or disclosure matter. But what we cannot do is allow this resentment to fuel so-called reforms that clearly infringe upon Americans’ right or ability to engage in political speech.

Filed Under: In the News

Daily Media Links 9/29: The surprising connection between ‘take a knee’ protests and Citizens United, Democratic Super PAC Steps Up Push To Fight ‘Conservative Dark Money,’ and more…

In the News Daily Caller: Is Facebook Using Foreign Influence As An Excuse To Censor Conservatives? By Michael Thielen Political speech is rightly entitled to the highest level of protection under the First Amendment, as freedom to discuss political views and criticize the government form the foundation of our constitutional system of government. Foreign persons […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

Morning Consult: Lawmakers See Need to Enhance Transparency of Online Political Ads (In the News)

By Edward Graham 
Bradley Smith, a former Republican FEC chairman and the current chairman of the Center for Competitive Politics, cautioned against a rush to impose new disclosure requirements that might limit First Amendment rights before understanding the extend of foreign involvement in the presidential election.
Smith added that current federal law already requires disclaimers for paid ads supporting or opposing candidates, including those online – although he said there are exemptions for smaller campaign items, like bumper stickers and small internet ads like Google search advertisements.
“I think we need to be careful about what the response should be, making changes that we can make that are effective,” Smith said in a Wednesday phone interview. “But we should realize that, if this is really a case of the Russian government involved, this is something in which the FEC and campaign finance disclosures have a really small role to play. It’s really something for counterintelligence operations or the Department of Justice.”
An FEC spokesperson would not comment on Klobuchar and Warner’s legislative efforts, but pointed to the commission’s vote at its Sept. 14 open meeting to reopen the comment period on proposed rulemaking on internet disclaimers for an additional 30 days.

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