“Bright Lines Project” 2.0 Is Still Not So Bright

More than a year ago, we dissected the original proposal from the “Bright Lines Project” to reform the IRS’s rules governing the extent to which tax-exempt organizations may engage in political activities. Our verdict at the time was that the proposal not only failed to live up to its promise of providing bright-line rules that [...]

Filed Under: Blog, IRS and the Tea Party

Does Larry Lessig Think He and Mayday PAC are Above the Law?

Does Larry Lessig think he and his supporters are above the law? In response to a complaint that CCP filed with the FEC, documenting 12 instances in which Lessig’s Mayday PAC violated campaign disclosure rules, Professor Lessig offers this feeble defense: Every Mayday.US ad fully identified Mayday.US as its sponsor. And unlike superPACs that accept dark [...]

Filed Under: Blog, CCP, Center for Competitive Politics, David keating, Disclosure, Embrace the Irony, FEC, Larry Lessig, Mayday PAC, Mayday.US, Professor Lessig

Fred Wertheimer Opposes Disclosure of Campaign Contributions

Surprised to find the denizen of the campaign finance regulatory community coming out against disclosure of all campaign contributions? So were we. But what else can one make of Wertheimer’s column this week in The Puffington Host, in which he writes: In the constitutional system envisioned by our founders 225 years ago, individuals get one [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Buckley v. Valeo, campaign finance reform, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Fred Wertheimer, McCain-Feingold

FEC Complaint: Mayday PAC violated campaign finance laws

Super PAC that wants more speech rules can’t figure out current law The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) today filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Mayday PAC, the self-proclaimed “SuperPAC to end all SuperPACs,” founded by Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig. The complaint documents that at least twelve Mayday PAC television ads, [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Featured Content, Press Releases

Federal appeals court to rule on contribution limit case

“A $5,200 check in June is okay, but that same check in July is illegal?” Alexandria, VA – A federal district court judge last week cleared the way for a ruling by the en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in a challenge brought by the Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) to certain [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Holmes v. FEC, Press Releases

Tax-Financed Campaigns Fail Women Again

Every now and then we come across a truly bizarre and insulting argument from those who wish to expand government control over the political process: that the rigors of campaign fundraising are somehow sexist and discourage women from seeking public office. Back in March, for example, The Albany Times-Union reported on a staged all-female rally [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Tax-Financing

MayDay PAC's Candidates Sink

97% of funds spent on losers Alexandria, VA – Voters soundly rejected Mayday PAC’s preferred candidates and the group’s vision of greater campaign finance regulation yesterday.  The self-described “Super PAC to end all Super PACs” spent $7.6 million in five congressional and three Senate contests during the election. Of that amount, 97%, or $7.35 million, [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Money in Politics, Press Releases, Super PACs

Media Watch: Brennan Center Falsehood Hits the Airwaves

If you were listening to NPR’s “On the Media” show over the weekend (podcast available here), you heard an amazing statistic: “96 percent of the television ad spending [in the Florida gubernatorial race] is coming from outside groups.” “That is extraordinary,” claimed the guest. Indeed it is – one might say, unbelievable. So unbelievable, in [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Media Watch, Money in Politics

Election Ads Are Good for Us

The New York Times reporter Nick Confessore was on NPR’s Fresh Air a few days ago and said “You know, the average marketing budget probably for Procter and Gamble on the course of a calendar year, I suspect, rivals all the spending on campaigns in an election year. I’m making that up, but political spending…is about, you [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure

Is voting like buying a box of cereal?

In a recent interview with, Federal Election Commission Vice Chair Ann Ravel compared campaign finance disclosure with the nutritional information on a box of cereal, stating that such “information is important for people to know whether they want to buy it or not . . . similarly people should know who’s making large contributions [...]

Filed Under: Blog