The Hill: Saying American businesses spend ‘dark money’ harms our democracy (In the News)

By Scott Blackburn 
When trade associations speak for their members, all Americans are better informed. If there’s a new tax, you want to know if it is going to endanger your job. Trade groups can let you know. If there’s a new healthcare bill, you want to learn how it will affect your employer’s plan. Trade groups provide this information. If a union is looking to pass a pro-labor bill, you want to hear the reasons why it might be a bad idea. Trade groups offer an alternative voice.
No one will agree with everything these groups have to say. But that’s okay. Democracy is built on all sides voicing their ideas…
Sadly, some activists want to stifle the debate. One such group, the Center for Political Accountability (CPA), is engaged in efforts to pressure and shame corporations into “voluntarily” telling you what associations they take part in…
They acknowledge that “companies continue to be named and in some cases shamed by the president.” Still, they want to stop businesses from having the privacy and benefits of trade associations. Perhaps the union-backed CPA doesn’t want businesses to talk about issues at all. 

Filed Under: In the News, Published Articles, Scott Blackburn

Amicus Brief: Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project

Filed Under: Featured Content

CLC Says CCP’s Wrong about “Dark Money.” Here are the Facts. Readers can Decide.

In a blog post from earlier today, the Campaign Legal Center’s Brendan Fischer critiques a mid-April CCP blog post I authored highlighting “Five Lessons about Spending in the 2016 Campaign You Might Have Missed.” In his post, Fischer labels CCP’s analysis that “‘dark money’ was nearly non-existent in 2016” as “wrong,” “misleading,” and “an alternative […]

Filed Under: Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, 2016 Election Cycle, Brendan Fischer, Campaign Legal Center, Center for Responsive Politics, Dark Money, Grey Money, LLCs, One Nation, OpenSecrets

Citizen Sleuth or Citizen Snoop? The Dangers of Disclosure in the Internet Age

At its core, the debate about political disclosure is actually pretty simple. The information provided about donors to the government has the benefit of allowing citizens to keep track of the flow of money to candidates, and through that information, corruption may be exposed. The cost of disclosure is that the personal information (names, home […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Federal, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Citizen Sleuth, Donald Trump, Harassment, HuffPost, Privacy, Trump Inauguration

Five Lessons about Spending in the 2016 Campaign You Might Have Missed

The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) recently released their final tally of spending in the 2016 election cycle. Here are 5 takeaways: Despite hyperbolic predictions, “dark money” was nearly non-existent in 2016. As CCP has long explained, the amount of political spending by nonprofit groups that aren’t required to report the private information of their […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, Money in Politics, Super PACs, 2016 Election Cycle, Center for Responsive Politics, Dark Money, Lowest Union Rate, OpenSecrets, The Media

Alt-Twitter and the Battle for Anonymous Political Speech

On April 6th, the Department of Homeland Security took the unusual – and likely illegal and unconstitutional – step of attempting to “unmask” the user of a pseudonymous Twitter account. The account, @ALT_uscis, was one of a collection that had sprung up over the past few months to protest the Trump administration’s handling of various […]

Filed Under: Blog, Coalition for Secular Government v. Gessler Other Links, CSG v. Gessler, Delaware Strong Families v. Biden Other Links, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Independence Institute v. FEC Other Links, Independence Institute v. Gessler Other Links, @ALT_uscis, anonymous internet speech, Department of Homeland Security, DHS, Harassment, Privacy, Rick Hasen, Twitter, Colorado, Delaware

Amicus Brief: Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance v. Judge Gay Polk-Payton

Filed Under: Featured Content

Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Upholding Constitution with repeal of IM 22 (In the News)

By Scott Blackburn and Ron Williamson
In the past year, the Center for Competitive Politics has completed law suits in Colorado and Utah against similar unconstitutional laws. In both cases, our clients won. Judges in both states ruled that overly broad rules on small non-political speakers and vague laws are unconstitutional. Courts are not fond of violations of the Constitution – both states have pay out six figure fees for enacting laws that restricted the First Amendment.
Some lawmakers have responded to this the wrong way. They’ve proposed capping donations for future ballot initiatives. But even if we don’t like what supporters of an initiative are saying, the First Amendment stops us from restricting their ability to say it. We can’t fight unconstitutional laws with more unconstitutional laws.
Other legislators are acting responsibly. They are repealing IM 22 before any damage can be done. This is triply valuable to the citizens of South Dakota. $5 Million in revenue that would have gone to politicians can now be put to better use. The Attorney General need not waste time defending an unconstitutional bill that could’ve cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars. And most importantly, South Dakotans will once again be free to express opinions without retaliation from state bureaucrats.

Filed Under: In the News, Published Articles

Cases from Potential Supreme Court Nominees

Colloton Coca-Cola v. Purdy Cross v. Mokwa MCCL v. Kelley Republican Party v. White Stahl v City of St. Louis Wersal v. Sexton Other ACLU v. Alvarez (Sykes) B.H. v Easton (Hardiman) Ezell v. City of Chicago (Sykes) Lavin I and V (Kethledge) Lavin v. Husted (Kethledge) League of Women Voters v. Quinn (Sykes) Lodge […]

Filed Under: Uncategorized

In Defense of Protests

After the election of Donald Trump, those unhappy with the results began protesting across the country. The #NotMyPresident movement is almost certainly futile – the election has been fairly decided – but these protesters, like all Americans, have the right to peaceably assemble and speak out, regardless of the content of their message. This is […]

Filed Under: Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, #NotMyPresident, Donald Trump, George Soros, Protests