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Media Watch: The Flash Flood of Misinformation Continues…

Last week, I was critical of a New York Times story that promoted the false impression that a majority of political advertising has been driven by so-called “Dark Money” organizations. That article, as I said at the time, “only compares ads run by ‘outside groups’– ignoring all spending by candidates, political action committees, and political [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Media Watch, Money in Politics

A Teaching Moment

The Politico political cartoon “Equal access” offers a window into the way many people assume campaign contributions and campaign finance laws generally work. The cartoon depicts several messages from citizens to the fictional Senator Schmutz, as well as a Koch Industries check made out to Senator Schmutz for $500,000 with “that vote…” written in the [...]

Filed Under: Blog

“Dark Money” Still a Bit Player (Continued): A Response to Robert Maguire

Last week, I calculated that non-disclosing groups account for roughly 5 percent of overall campaign spending to date in the 2014 election cycle. From this, I argued that much of the consternation over so-called “dark money” is overblown, and that attempts to further expand compulsory disclosure requirements beyond our already heavily regulated regime may do [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Money in Politics

Media Watch: New York Times Fueling a Flood of Misinformation

If you are a regular reader of The New York Times, you are probably convinced that the greatest threat facing our democracy today is so-called “dark money.” Articles like Nicholas Confessore’s on October 10th titled, “Secret Money Fueling a Flood of Political Ads,” bemoan the “dark money” threat, warning readers that “[m]ore than half of [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Media Watch, Money in Politics

Reform and the Insider’s Game

One of the problems that the regulatory movement has never come to grips with is the cognitive dissonance between decrying the influence of traditional political actors and the pro-regulatory community’s own quest for influence. Despite the oft-repeated goal of blunting the impact of “special interests” in politics, the pro-regulatory lobby wields a significant amount of [...]

Filed Under: Blog

Highlights: "How we finance our political campaigns"

Center for Competitive Politics Chairman Bradley A. Smith recently participated in the American Forum debate, “How we finance our political campaigns.” In this collection of highlights from the debate, Brad touches on the dangers of campaign finance and some of the history that led to our current collection of laws and regulations. Brad Smith’s opening [...]

Filed Under: Blog

Public Financing: Achieving its Goals?

Below is a transcript of Bradley A. Smith’s remarks on tax-financed campaigns at the AmericanForum: How we finance our political campaigns debate: There’s no real evidence that public financing is achieving any of its goals. In the states where it’s been used it hasn’t reduced corruption, it hasn’t brought more women and minorities into politics, it hasn’t increased [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Tax Financed Campaigns Press Release/In the News/Blog

Nixon and the Federal Election Campaign Act (Video)

Below is a transcript of an exchange at the AmericanForum: How we finance our political campaigns debate, about the first case litigated under the Federal Elections Campaign Act: Bradley A. Smith: What was the first lawsuit that ever was that was brought under the federal campaign act? It was brought by the Nixon administration against a group of citizens [...]

Filed Under: Blog

Judge rules Colorado disclosure law unconstitutional

Alexandria, VA – A federal judge late yesterday ruled that Colorado’s campaign disclosure laws violate the First Amendment when applied to small organizations, writing that “any ‘informational interest’ the government has in mandating contribution and expenditure disclosures [is] so minimal as to be nonexistent, and certainly insufficient to justify the burdens compliance imposes on members’ [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Coalition for Secular Government v. Gessler Other Links, Featured Content, Press Releases

Disclosure, Privacy, and Future Targeting (Video)

Below is a transcript of Bradley A. Smith’s remarks on disclosure at the AmericanForum: How we finance our political campaigns debate: What we know is the Supreme Court has consistently upheld the privacy interest of people. Of course you vote secretly and there’s all kinds of things in life that you get to do secretly, your taxes are [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog