A victory for fishermen and free speech

The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission, citing the Supreme Court’s WRTL decision, dismissed a complaint today against several fishermen who had taken out advertisements in Hawaii newspapers two days before the 2006 elections.

The ruling should also offer an important lesson to public officials everywhere – don’t disparage the political activism of fishermen.

Click the headline for more.

Filed Under: Blog

Campaign finance laws so complex even state political parties can’t comply

The Institute for Justice released a study this week that details the hurdles that campaign finance laws present to ordinary citizens.  The study found that most citizens find campaign finance disclosure laws to be virtually incomprehensible.

But its not just ordinary citizens that find campaign finance laws incomprehsible - state political parties find it increasingly difficult to comply with all the campaign finance laws.

Click the headline for more.

Filed Under: Blog

NJ “clean elections”: no proof of increased competitiveness

CCP compared electoral competitiveness in New Jersey between "traditional" fundraising districts and districts particpating in the "clean elections" pilot project.

The results indicate that government financing does not guarantee more competitive elections and by many measures can result in less competitive elections.

Click HERE to see the results.

Filed Under: Blog

Predictable Results in NJ “Clean Elections” Experiment

New Jersey’s "clean elections" pilot program concluded yesterday with predictable results – massive amounts of government funds spent and elections that were not competitive.

Filed Under: Blog

“Public campaign financing undermines free speech”

The Hill published this morning an op-ed written by CCP president Sean Parnell addressing efforts to revive the presidential public financing system.

Click HERE to read the op-ed.

Filed Under: Blog

“Worse than the IRS”

The Institute for Justice released today a new study titled "Campaign Finance Red Tape: Strangling Free Speech and Political Debate."

According to IJ, the study "examines the effects of the bureaucratic red tape created by disclosure regulations on ordinary citizens through a large-scale experiment with 255 participants."

Click the headline for more.

Filed Under: Blog

CCP supplemental comments on electioneering communications

The Center for Competitive Politics filed supplemental comments with the FEC in regards to the October hearing on electioneering communications.

Click the headline to read CCP’s comments. 

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

CCP Files Comments Supporting ActBlue’s Campaign Finance Innovation

The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) filed comments with the FEC today supporting ActBlue’s Advisory Opinion Request (AOR 2007-27), which focuses on the ability of ActBlue to solicit contributions to union and corporate PACs.

Click the headline for more.

Filed Under: Blog

Lawmakers contemplate ‘millionaire’s amendment’ for presidential campaigns

The Hill reported this morning that some legislators are considering adding a "millionaire’s amendment" for presidential campaigns.

The Campaign Legal Center suggests that if the version of the "millionaire’s amendment" used in congressional campaigns was adopted for presidential campaigns, then contribution levels could increase from $2,300 to $13,800.

Of course this begs the question, repeatedly asked by CCP: How are increased contribution limits squared with the idea that large contributions ‘corrupt’ politicians – the Constitutional basis for the limitations on contributions?

Another difficult question is raised by the "conciliation agreement" reached between the FEC and Daniel Hynes.

Click the headline for more.

Filed Under: Blog

Vitter’s Cat (not his alleged Cathouse)

According to the quandary known as Schroedinger’s Cat, the cat is neither alive nor dead until it is observed, and when observed is thought to be half-alive and half-dead simultaneously.

In a recent enforcement action we can observe the FEC in quandaries of its own: confusion over the importance of "observer effect" and over the dividing line between public polling and political advertising.  Call the quandary "Vitter’s Cat." 

Click on the headline to understand why the quandary is unnecessary, and how the FEC’s ruling would foul-up a candidate’s internal numbers.

Filed Under: Blog