Disclosure, hypocrisy, and hyperbole in campaign finance

It has just come to my attention that last week David Schultz, a Professor at the Graduate School of Management at Hamline University with whom I’ve previously had cordial relations, rather out of the blue “called me out” last week. In a post at Politics in Minnesota, Professor Schultz accuses me, by name (along with Attorney [...]

Filed Under: Blog, campaign finance reform, David Schultz, Disclosure, doolittle, McCain-Feingold

Quick Hits from the SBA List Oral Argument

Today the U.S. Supreme Court heard Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, a case challenging Ohio’s false statements law. Here are the questions presented by the case, as stated in the petition to the Court: I. To challenge a speech-suppressive law, must a party whose speech is arguably proscribed prove that authorities would certainly and [...]

Filed Under: Blog, SBA List v. Driehaus Other Links

Christian Adams, the Election Law Listserv, and Private Speech

Christian Adams, who publishes the Rule of Law blog at PJ Media, created something of a dustup last week when he blasted Lois Lerner, the Campaign Legal Center’s Larry Noble, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and others for arguing that conservative groups ought to be threatened with possible criminal prosecutions. Mr. Adams makes some excellent points. [...]

Filed Under: Blog

Dysfunction and Belief at the FEC

Former FEC GC Larry Noble has offered his take on the public dispute between FEC Vice Chair Ann Ravel and the FEC’s Republican commissioners.  Noble ultimately calls for “fundamental changes” at the FEC “including the appointment of commissioners who believe in the law and its enforcement.” This question of “belief in the law” reminds me [...]

Filed Under: Blog

California AG faces court challenge today in free speech case

For Release: April 17, 2014  Contact: Joe Trotter  Phone: 210-352-0055 (Cell) SACRAMENTO, Calif. – This afternoon a federal court in Sacramento will hear arguments in a First Amendment case that challenges an effort by California Attorney General Kamala Harris to force nonprofit groups to turn over confidential donor records to the state. Harris is demanding that nonprofit groups [...]

Filed Under: Blog, CCP v. Harris Other Links, Current Case, Litigation Blog/Press Releases, Newsroom, Press Releases

SBA List Headlines Disappointingly Misleading

“Court to Weigh Challenge to Ban on Campaign Lies” blares the AP, one of many headlines disappointingly framing SBA List v. Driehaus in very stark, somewhat misleading terms. In the case at hand, the statements made by the Susan B. Anthony List were actually, literally true.  In fact, the most that one could say is that [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Current Case, Litigation Blog/Press Releases, SBA List v. Driehaus Other Links

Background: Center for Competitive Politics v. Harris

The Issue in Brief Does California’s attorney general have the power to ban a nonprofit organization from asking for donations unless it hands over a list of its past supporters for inspection, even if the group has no involvement in elections? That simple question is at the heart of Center for Competitive Politics v. Harris. Federal [...]

Filed Under: Blog, CCP v. Harris Other Links, Current Case, Featured Content, Litigation Blog/Press Releases

The IRS recognizes that it needs different rule governing 501(c)(4) groups (Video)

Yesterday, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen announced[1] that the IRS will be pulling its controversial rule[2] expanding regulation of nonprofit social welfare organizations—commonly referred to as § 501(c)(4) groups. Such groups, like the NRA or the Sierra Club, often advocate for specific legislation and occasionally support or oppose candidates. The Center for Competitive Politics (“CCP”) criticized [...]

Filed Under: Blog, IRS, IRS and the Tea Party, Issues

Tennessee Teen Skeptical of his Freedom

A recent Washington Post article tells the story of a group of teenagers who started a Super PAC just to see if they could. To their horror, they discovered that they really do have First Amendment rights. A quick recap of what happened:  The group of teens, which named their Super PAC “Because We Can [...]

Filed Under: Blog

Judge Rules Delaware Disclosure Law Unconstitutional

Bars enforcement of law against group publishing voter guides For Release: April 8, 2014  Contact: Joe Trotter  Phone: 210-352-0055 (Cell) Wilmington, DE – A federal court today issued an order barring enforcement of a recently adopted Delaware law that would have forced a group that publishes non-partisan voter guides to violate its members’ privacy. Judge Sue L. Robinson [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Communications, Current Case, Delaware Strong Families v. Biden Other Links, Featured Content, Litigation Blog/Press Releases, Newsroom, Press Releases, Delaware