Melania Trump Controversy Shows the Silliness of Campaign Finance Laws

The controversy over Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention – well, one of them anyway – is a reminder that much of the debate over campaign finance regulation has nothing to do with preventing corruption. An employee of the Trump Organization, Meredith McIver, wrote the speech, leading many in the pro-regulation community to suspect […]

Filed Under: Blog, corporate contributions, corruption, Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Meredith McIver, Republican National Convention

Letter to the California Fair Political Practices Commission on Proposed SB 1107 Amendment

PDF of the letter available here The Honorable Jodi Remke Chair California Fair Political Practices Commission 438 J Street, Suite 620 Sacramento, California 95814 RE: The Proposed SB 1107 Amendment of the Political Reform Act’s Public Financing Ban Does Not “Further [the] Purposes” of the Act and May Not Be Enacted by the Legislature Without […]

Filed Under: Blog, External Relations Comments and Testimony, State Comments and Testimony, California

Broccoli, Islam, Trump, and the Vanishing Line Between Political Speech and Speech

One of the big problems with campaign finance reform is deciding what speech should be regulated. As Oliver Wendell Holmes famously wrote, “Every idea is an incitement. It offers itself for belief and, if believed, it is acted on unless some other belief outweighs it or some failure of energy stifles the movement at its birth.” […]

Filed Under: Blog, American Islam, broccoli, Donald Trump, george bush, John McGinnis, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Separation of Campaign and State

And More Doublespeak in Reformland: On Reversing

Our inimitable Luke Wachob notes that “reformers,” after complaining for years about the FEC’s bipartisan makeup, have now decided to complain about its “partisan” makeup. Apparently, the “reformers” have decided that complaining about bipartisanship just doesn’t resonate with voters. So, in a bit of doublespeak, why not change “bipartisan” to “partisan?” After all, a rose […]

Filed Under: Blog, Super PACs, David keating, Disclosure, John Howe, SpeechNow,

Doublespeak in Reformland

CCP President David Keating recently noted that opponents of free speech in campaigns have corrupted the term “corruption.” It’s not alone. They also have trouble with “partisan.” The office of Congressman John Sarbanes put out a press release last week hyping House Democrats’ proposals to expand campaign finance and voting rights laws. The release says, […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclose Act, Doublespeak, FEC, Representative John Sarbanes

Utah settles lawsuit, concedes First Amendment violation

Alexandria, VA – In an agreement approved by a federal judge this afternoon, Utah agreed not to enforce a state campaign finance law that violated the First Amendment. The complex law required nonprofit advocacy groups to register with the state and publicly report their supporters’ private information, threatening donations to those organizations. The agreement, known […]

Filed Under: Blog, Press Releases, Utah Taxpayers Association v. Cox, uta v. cox, Utah

The Corruption of “Corruption”

If you’ve not read Jonathan Rauch’s “How American Politics Went Insane” yet, you should. Reading his article made me think of the title of this post, which obviously is a play on words. Many of those opposed to free speech today see corruption everywhere, often when politicians vote the “wrong” way. In short, free speech […]

Filed Under: Blog, Jonathan Rauch, McDonnell v. United States, Tara Malloy

Senate’s Attacks on Dissent Continue

Internal emails obtained yesterday by The Washington Free Beacon brought to light a coordinated campaign by Democratic lawmakers and allied environmental groups to attack nonprofits opposed to climate change legislation. The emails detail a plan in which 19 Democratic Senators were assigned specific nonprofits to call out and criticize in speeches made on the chamber […]

Filed Under: Blog, IRS and the Tea Party, "John Doe", ALEC, climate change, Dick Durbin, sheldon whitehouse, The Intimidation Game, The Washington Free Beacon, Wisconsin

Communications Fellow Alex Baiocco Joins Center’s External Relations Team

The Center for Competitive Politics is excited to welcome Alex Baiocco to our External Relations Department as a Communications Fellow. Prior to joining the Center, Alex was a Media Relations Intern at the Cato Institute. He graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2016 with a B.A. in Political Science. Alex is a strong advocate for individual […]

Filed Under: Blog

ICYMI: The man who helped create super PACs says they’re here to stay

Washington Post: The man who helped create super PACs says they’re here to stay July 8th, 2016 By Matea Gold Conservative activist David Keating, who launched the case that created super PACs, is not concerned a new legal effort will succeed in shutting down the big-money groups. “I think they’re here to stay, because […]

Filed Under: Blog, Press Releases, Quotes CCP, Super PACs, David keating, Matea Gold, v. FEC, Washington Post