Blog

Standards for tax exemption for social welfare organizations

The Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, John Koskinen, was recently quoted as stating that under “the framework Congress has set up,” § 501(c)(4) organizations are permitted to “spend a significant amount on politics”—up to 49% of their budgets. This unremarkable assertion reflects the general understanding of tax lawyers and nonprofit organizations. Nevertheless, a predictable [...]

Filed Under: Blog

The stuff foul-mouthed Larry Lessig says

In a post entitled “The sh*t Brad Smith says” (shot? shut? – you may as well spell it out, Larry), Larry Lessig quotes Brad Smith from Sunday’s Washington Post as saying, “[W]hen the rubber hits the road, most people say, ‘I don’t think my contribution should be disclosed.’” “That’s news to me,” says Lessig. “In [...]

Filed Under: Blog

Constitutional and Practical Issues with Oregon Senate Joint Resolution 5 and Senate Bill 75

The Honorable Diane Rosenbaum The Honorable Ted Ferrioli Re:  Constitutional and Practical Issues with Senate Joint Resolution 5 and Senate Bill 75 Dear Chair Rosenbaum, Vice-Chair Ferrioli, and members of the Senate Rules Committee: On behalf of the Center for Competitive Politics, I am writing you today to respectfully submit the following comments regarding the [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Contribution Limits Comments, Contribution Limits State, External Relations Comments and Testimony, Money in Politics, State Comments and Testimony, Oregon

Significant Constitutional and Practical Issues with Connecticut Senate Bill 1126 (as Substituted)

The Honorable Martin M. Looney The Honorable Len Fasano Re:  Significant Constitutional and Practical Issues with Senate Bill 1126 (as Substituted) Dear President Pro Tempore Looney, Senate Minority Leader Fasano, and members of the Senate: On behalf of The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP),[1] Senior Fellow Eric Wang[2] has analyzed S.B. 1126, as substituted favorably [...]

Filed Under: Blog, External Relations Comments and Testimony, State Comments and Testimony, Super PACs, coordination, Connecticut

The New York Times (Sort Of) Recognizes the Benefits of Super PACs

Most Americans know April 15th as Tax Day, but campaign finance observers also know it as the date when presidential candidates file their campaign’s first-quarter fundraising report. Traditionally, these filings have had a significant impact on media coverage and public perception of candidates. Those who demonstrated fundraising prowess early on were presumed to be front-runners [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Super PACs, SpeechNow.org v. FEC, The New York Times

Updated Coalition Letter in support of “Fair Treatment for All Gifts Act” (H.R. 1104)

April 15, 2015 PDF available here. Dear Representative: The undersigned civil liberties, free expression, and nonprofit advocacy groups and attorneys who represent advocacy organizations have a wide variety of views on the political spectrum. However, we are united in writing to express our strong support of the Fair Treatment for All Gifts Act (H.R. 1104). [...]

Filed Under: Blog, External Relations Comments and Testimony, Federal Comments and Testimony, IRS, Gift Tax

Support for Tax-Financed Presidential Campaigns Sinks to New Low

Over at NPR, Peter Overby reviews the decline of the Presidential Public Funding Program. Created in 1972, the program provides tax dollars to presidential candidates who agree to limit their campaign spending. Funding comes from a voluntary $3 check-off box prominently located at the top of the 1040 tax form alongside your first and last [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Tax Financed Campaigns Press Release/In the News/Blog, Presidential Public Funding Program

Coalition Letter in support of “Fair Treatment for All Gifts Act” (H.R. 1104)

April 13, 2015 PDF available here. Dear Representative: The undersigned civil liberties, free expression, and nonprofit advocacy groups and attorneys who represent advocacy organizations have a wide variety of views on the political spectrum. However, we are united in writing to express our strong support of the Fair Treatment for All Gifts Act (H.R. 1104). Application [...]

Filed Under: Blog, External Relations Comments and Testimony, Federal Comments and Testimony, IRS, Gift Tax

Significant Constitutional and Practical Issues with California Assembly Bill 1494

The Honorable Sebastian Ridley-Thomas The Honorable Shannon L. Grove Re:  Significant Constitutional and Practical Issues with Assembly Bill 1494 Dear Chair Ridley-Thomas, Vice Chair Grove, and members of the Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee: On behalf of the Center for Competitive Politics, I respectfully submit the following comments to highlight serious constitutional and practical problems [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, External Relations Comments and Testimony, State Comments and Testimony, Independent Expenditures, Taxes, California

Amendment Recommendations for California Assembly Bill 594

The Honorable Sebastian Ridley-Thomas The Honorable Shannon L. Grove Re:  Amendment Recommendations for Assembly Bill 594 Dear Chair Ridley-Thomas, Vice Chair Grove, and members of the Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee: On behalf of the Center for Competitive Politics (CCP),[1] I write to inform the Committee’s consideration of Assembly Bill 594. As introduced, the bill [...]

Filed Under: Blog, External Relations Comments and Testimony, State Comments and Testimony, "Major Donor" Reporting, California Fair Political Practices Commission, Committee Reporting, California