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Media Watch: Nothing to See Here, Just Politics as Usual

In Roll Call, Eliza Newlin Carney claims that “Republicans are developing an appetite for big money as a campaign issue.” (“Republicans Join Attacks on Big Money,” October 28.) Long-time observers of the debate swirling around campaign finance regulation will no doubt see through this smokescreen. Advocates for greater regulation of “money in politics” predict a [...]

Filed Under: Blog, Media Watch

Lee Goodman on Fox & Friends

Federal Election Commission Chairman Lee Goodman discusses the recent vote over expanding the FEC’s authority to regulate election-related Internet videos:

Filed Under: Blog

FEC In the News: Regulating Internet Speech, Discouraging Movie Screenings, and Country Wide Tours

The Federal Election Commission and its commissioners have made quite a few headlines recently, the latest stemming from FEC Vice Chairwoman Ann Ravel’s statement suggesting that the agency look at broadening its authority to regulate election-related Internet videos. Ravel’s statement stems from a split vote over internet-only pro-coal videos released by a group that was [...]

Filed Under: Blog

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