Utah Agrees to Pay $125,000 in Free Speech Lawsuit

State of Utah previously conceded First Amendment violation Alexandria, VA – The state of Utah today told a federal court it would pay $125,000 in attorney’s fees in a constitutional challenge to its campaign finance laws. If the court approves the fees, as expected, it would mark the final step in a lawsuit filed on […]

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

On First Amendment Issues, 2016 Party Platforms Differ Greatly from Each Other, But also from 2012

The Democratic and Republican National Conventions have ended, and attention has shifted to the general election season ahead. Yet the parties’ respective platforms endure as a landmark of where they (or at least their most active supporters) stand on the issues at this particular moment in time. It is no surprise that political speech rights […]

Filed Under: Blog, Buckley v. Valeo, Citizens United v. FEC, Democratic National Convention, Democratic Party Platform, DNC, Republican National Convention, Republican Party Platform, RNC, WRTL v. FEC

‘Leaks’ Courtesy of the FEC: No Hacking Necessary

The recent news of the leaked DNC emails, along with the more recent DCCC hack, has left many observers concerned about the state of privacy in the modern world and more specifically about the worrisome potential for hacking to become a common tactic for political opposition. Both hacks were not only criminal acts, but also […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, DCCC Hack, DNC Hack, federal election commission, NSA Surveillance

Surprise, Surprise: Partisan Grandstanding from FEC Commissioners Has Hurt the Agency’s Morale

The Federal Election Commission’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently released a July 2016 study on the root causes of its infamously low employee morale. After receiving survey responses from 185 out of the Commission’s roughly 338 employees, the Office found that a chief cause of low morale at the agency is the conduct of […]

Filed Under: Blog, Ann Ravel, ellen weintraub, federal election commission, Fox News, Lee Goodman, Matthew Petersen, Mike Huckabee, Office of Inspector General, richard nixon, YouTube

Amicus Brief: Wolfson v. Concannon in Support of Petitioner

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Filed Under: All Amicus Briefs, Blog, Current Amicus Briefs

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

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 Referral to the Voters under Article […]

Filed Under: Blog, External Relations Comments and Testimony, State Comments and Testimony, Tax Financed Campaigns Comments, Tax Financed Campaigns State, Political Reform Act of 1974, 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