Congratulations Allison!

Allison Hayward, formerly Vice President for Policy at CCP, has been appointed to a four-year term on California’s Fair Political Practices Commission by State Controller Betty Yee. Allison’s extensive background – as a professor (little known fact: her academic writing was cited in the majority opinion in Citizens United v. FEC, as was an amicus […]

Filed Under: Blog, Allison Hayward, Betty Yee, Bradley Smith, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, FPPC, California

Letter to Colorado Secretary of State: Citizens United’s Petition for Declaratory Order

On June 2, 2014, the Center for Competitive Politics (“CCP”) filed comments before Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler supporting Citizens United’s Petition for Declaratory Order. Citizens United—yes, that organization—asked the Secretary to declare whether its activity qualified under Colorado’s press exemption to the definitions of “expenditure” and “electioneering communications” of Colorado Constitution Article XXVIII. […]

Filed Under: Blog, External Relations Comments and Testimony, Colorado

No Good Speech Unpunished: New Model Regulations Would Muzzle Charities’ Speech

The Coalition for Accountability in Political Spending (CAPS) recently proposed “Model Regulations” which, if adopted, would seriously burden the ability of charities and other nonprofit organizations to engage in their important work. CCP analyzed these Model Regulations, and identified four serious problems, which should concern anyone who values constitutional government and fundamental First Amendment freedoms. […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, IRS and the Tea Party, Issues

The limits restrict constitutionally-protected liberty.

The Cato Institute writes: “…restricting the liberty to engage in election campaigns because such engagement somehow injures the political system is fundamentally contrary to the constitutional structure of rights and powers. As James Madison said, “it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than […]

Filed Under: 1. McCutcheon, Arguments

Putting teeth into standard of review.

CCP’s brief suggests that courts mistakenly grant excessive deference to Congress, whose members have a vested self-interest in restricting speech about their performance in office and have “often shown considerable ignorance of the nation’s campaign finance laws.”  The brief quips that “Some members of Congress may be conniving, and others ignorant.”  From the brief: Such […]

Filed Under: 1. McCutcheon, Arguments

The rationale for the caps is bogus.

Supporters of the aggregate caps argue that without them, individuals would avoid the $2,600 limit on giving to a particular race by giving to many candidates and party committees, which would then pass the money on to the intended candidate. This claim is unsupported by law, experience and common sense. First, the law: any contribution […]

Filed Under: 1. McCutcheon, Arguments

The law threatens freedom of the press.

Individuals are capped at giving maximum support to 18 campaigns. Congress has yet to pass a law placing newspapers or the media under a similar limit. They can give an editorial endorsement – certainly worth much more than $2,600 – to as many candidates as they want. There is nothing special about being a newspaper […]

Filed Under: 1. McCutcheon, Arguments

It helps incumbents because it cuts funds to challengers.

The real reason for the aggregate limit is probably pretty simple. It helps the incumbents who wrote the law. Think about it for a minute. As of September 25, 2013, the Cook Political Report rated 84 House and Senate races as competitive. This means a citizen, who, for example, wants to help every Republican or […]

Filed Under: 1. McCutcheon, Arguments

The law sets party committees against each other and makes parties less important.

The law only allows an individual to contribute $32,400 to a national political party committee and $5,000 to a PAC, but also imposes a biennial sublimit of $74,600 on all such contributions. So an individual can give the maximum legal contribution to the Democratic National Committee, and to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, but if […]

Filed Under: 1. McCutcheon, Arguments

37 states have no aggregate limit of any kind. Many that do are among the worst run.

States are the laboratories of our democracy, and they are doing just fine without aggregate limits. In fact, there is no evidence that the thirteen states with aggregate limits benefit in any way. The Pew Center on the States and Governing Magazine graded all 50 states for the quality of their management (information, people, money […]

Filed Under: 1. McCutcheon, Arguments