The “NO PAC Caucus” is Another Misguided – and Revealing – Campaign to Squash Free Speech

These days, supporters of increased political speech regulation often fixate on topics like super PACs and so-called “dark money” when fear-mongering about the current state of campaign finance regulation in the United States. But occasionally they reveal their discomfort with basically any form of political speech that allows individuals to pool their resources and jointly […]

Filed Under: Blog, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Federal, Contribution Limits Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, No PAC Act, NO PAC Caucus, PACs, Ro Khanna

The Tone-Deaf Response to the “Democracy Vouchers” Lawsuit

This week, the Pacific Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit against the city of Seattle over its new “Democracy Vouchers” program. The system is a form of taxpayer financing for political campaigns that imposes $3 million a year in new property taxes in order to give each voter four $25 “vouchers” that they can then donate […]

Filed Under: Blog, Tax Financed Campaigns Press Release/In the News/Blog, Tax Financed Campaigns State, Tax-Financing, Campaign Legal Center, Democracy Vouchers, Every Voice, Pacific Legal Foundation, Seattle, Washington

Daily Caller: What’s The Matter With Election Spending? (In the News)

By Joe Albanese
American politics is corrupt. Big donors buy elections. Voters have no say in their government. These clichés are completely untrue. Sadly, many Americans take them for granted regardless. A major culprit is the countless stories during every election cycle suggesting there is too much money in politics – whether it’s overall political spending, out-of-state donations, or “outside” spending. Ironically, the media outlets that obsess the most over these contests are the first to object when Americans participate in them…
The negative portrayal of political spending, out-of-state donors, and “outside” groups in the media tends to convince readers that “money in politics” is a problem rather than an essential feature of our democracy. Money is essential to communicating with voters, and that’s where much of it goes. High levels of political spending, like high levels of readership for political stories, reflect broad interest in an election. Restricting one is not much different than restricting the other.
Voters may groan as they read about higher levels of political spending. But it sure beats the alternative: restricting the political speech and participation of Americans in the elections of their representatives. 

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

The Washington Post Holds Series of Panels on the First Amendment

On Tuesday, The Washington Post hosted a series of First Amendment panels at its offices in an event called “Free to State: A New Era for the First Amendment.” The panels touched on several different topics related to free speech and freedom of religion and were moderated by Post writers. The Post’s Publisher and Chief […]

Filed Under: Blog, ACLU, Ann Coulter, Campus Speech, Christina Paxson, Digital Speech, Floyd Abrams, free speech, Nadine Strossen, Offensive Speech, Religious Liberty, Robert Zimmer, The Washington Post

Washington Times: Paying politicians to run for office (In the News)

By Joe Albanese 
A new report by the Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) asks a key question: would tax-funded campaigns help challengers beat incumbents more often? The study examines state legislators running for re-election in two groups of states. One group consists of the five states with some form of tax-financed campaigns (Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, and Minnesota). The other group is the remaining 45 states.
CCP’s report shows incumbents win at sky-high rates no matter what state group they’re in. From the 2010 to 2016 election cycles, 89 percent of incumbents won in tax-financing states, and 91 percent won in the others. The gap between these states is statistically insignificant – there is basically no difference between them. This is like when a poll says candidate A will beat candidate B, but the survey is within the margin of error; meaning B could be tied with or even beating A. The situation is the same here. We cannot tell the difference between re-election rates in tax-financing states and other states…
Our new report shows that Americans should be skeptical of public financing and its claimed benefits. Any “reform” that subsidizes politicians should be seen for what it is: a program that spends your tax dollars on politics. 

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

No, Taxpayer Financing of Campaigns Won’t Stop Out-of-State Political Spending

The special election for the U.S. House seat for Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District is attracting a great deal of attention from the media. The fact that the race features a relatively large amount of political spending coming from outside the state has been a particularly salient flash point in news articles. Over the weekend, Public […]

Filed Under: Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, Tax Financed Campaigns Press Release/In the News/Blog, Tax-Financing, Jon Ossoff, Out-of-State Spending, PolitiFact, public citizen, public financing, Georgia

Bernie Sanders and Rick Hasen Are Two Sides of the Same Defective Coin on Free Speech

Recently, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders sat down with professor Rick Hasen of the University of California, Irvine School of Law. In their conversation, they discussed voter ID laws, gerrymandering, and campaign finance. The result was an illuminating look at how the diverging perspectives of a populist socialist and a legal expert arrive at common policy […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, Money in Politics, Tax Financed Campaigns Federal, Tax Financed Campaigns Press Release/In the News/Blog, Tax-Financing, Bernie Sanders, Buckley v. Valeo, Rick Hasen

Issue Analysis No. 10: Do Taxpayer-Funded Campaigns Increase Political Competitiveness?

The Center’s tenth issue analysis examines the claim by proponents of taxpayer-funded political campaigns that such systems improve the political process by exposing incumbent politicians to more competition and increasing the chance that challengers will defeat them in elections. If this claim is true, we would expect to find lower incumbent re-election rates in states […]

Filed Under: Blog, External Relations Sub-Pages, Research, Tax Financed Campaigns Handouts, Tax Financed Campaigns Research, Tax Financed Campaigns State, Tax-Financing, Taxpayer Financed Campaigns, Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Act, CCEA, clean elections, Maine Clean Election Act, MCEA, public financing, Taxpayer Financed Campaigns, Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Minnesota

Recent Political Documentaries Have a Knee-Jerk Skepticism of Free Speech

I recently watched the new Netflix documentary Get Me Roger Stone, about the eponymous Republican political insider. The film traces Stone’s career from its beginnings with Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal, to his current ties with President Trump. Overall, it was a fascinating film about an eccentric and notorious political insider, but one thing […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issues, Alexandra Pelosi, Donors, Get Me Roger Stone, Meet the Donors, Roger Stone

Gorsuch’s Critics, Aided by an Enabling Media, Are Still Mischaracterizing Him

This week, the Supreme Court declined to hear a case challenging restrictions on political party fundraising and spending in the McCain-Feingold Act. This left in place a lower-court ruling upholding these restrictions. Following the Court’s announcement, multiple commentators have noted the implications of the decision on future challenges to McCain-Feingold and even the strength of […]

Filed Under: Blog, Issues, Media Watch, Money in Politics, Bloomberg BNA, Clarence Thomas, Gorsuch, McCain-Feingold, Neil Gorsuch, Political Parties, Republican Party of Louisiana v. FEC, Roll Call, Supreme Court, US News & World Report