Constitutional and Practical Issues with Colorado House Bills 17-1261 and 17-1262

VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL The Honorable Vicki Marble The Honorable Jerry Sonnenberg RE: Constitutional and Practical Issues with House Bills 17-1261 and 17-1262 Dear Chair Marble, Vice-Chair Sonnenberg, and Members of the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee: On behalf of the Center for Competitive Politics (“the Center”),[1] we respectfully submit the following comments on […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Comments, Disclosure State, External Relations Comments and Testimony, State Comments and Testimony, disclaimers, Electioneering Communications, Colorado

An Amendment to Restrict Political Speech Rights

At a recent town hall meeting in his district, Representative Ted Deutch (D-FL) renewed his perennial call to amend the Constitution to give incumbent politicians unprecedented power to regulate any money raised or spent “to influence elections.” Of course, money spent for the purpose of influencing elections is primarily money spent on speech. And presumably, […]

Filed Under: Amending Press Release/In the News/Blog, Amending the Constitution, Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, First Amendment, independent speech, Ted Deutch, Tom Udall, U.S. Constitution, Udall Amendment, Florida, New Mexico

Trust No One – Except Politicians?

Here’s a strange bit of advice I bet you haven’t heard before: trust politicians, but be wary of everyone else. It’s strange advice because it’s such bad advice. Politicians lie. Everyone knows politicians lie. They distort their positions to better match public opinion. They exploit political ignorance to fuel outrage at their opponents. They dodge […]

Filed Under: Amending Press Release/In the News/Blog, Amending the Constitution, Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Federal Press Releases and Blogs, Issues, Super PACs, Claire McCaskill, congress, independent speech, Negative ads, Tom Udall, Udall Amendment, Missouri

Out-of-State Spending Was High in Georgia Special Election, and That’s OK

The outsized attention being paid to a few special elections means an early opportunity for the politically active to create favorable momentum going into the 2018 midterms. Consequently, it also means the return of the perennially favorite election narrative: “shady, out-of-state money is drowning out local voters!” That’s the overarching message of an article from […]

Filed Under: Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, Jon Ossoff, Out-of-State Spending, Sixth Congressional District, Georgia

Five Lessons about Spending in the 2016 Campaign You Might Have Missed

The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) recently released their final tally of spending in the 2016 election cycle. Here are 5 takeaways: Despite hyperbolic predictions, “dark money” was nearly non-existent in 2016. As CCP has long explained, the amount of political spending by nonprofit groups that aren’t required to report the private information of their […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, Money in Politics, Super PACs, 2016 Election Cycle, Center for Responsive Politics, Dark Money, Lowest Union Rate, OpenSecrets, The Media

“Drain the Swamp” and Competing Conceptions of Corruption

Congressman Ken Buck (R-CO) is a founding member of the Freedom Caucus and the latest conservative to come out with a book criticizing the sausage-making in Washington, D.C. In 2013, it was Peter Schweizer with Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets. In 2015, it was Jay Cost’s A […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, corruption, Drain the Swamp, Heritage Foundation, Ken Buck

Alt-Twitter and the Battle for Anonymous Political Speech

On April 6th, the Department of Homeland Security took the unusual – and likely illegal and unconstitutional – step of attempting to “unmask” the user of a pseudonymous Twitter account. The account, @ALT_uscis, was one of a collection that had sprung up over the past few months to protest the Trump administration’s handling of various […]

Filed Under: Blog, Coalition for Secular Government v. Gessler Other Links, CSG v. Gessler, Delaware Strong Families v. Biden Other Links, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Independence Institute v. FEC Other Links, Independence Institute v. Gessler Other Links, @ALT_uscis, anonymous internet speech, Department of Homeland Security, DHS, Harassment, Privacy, Rick Hasen, Twitter, Colorado, Delaware

Members of Congress Renew Proposal to Kill Bipartisan FEC

The bipartisan makeup of the Federal Election Commission is coming under fire yet again. A House bill (H.R. 2034) would effectively disband the FEC and replace the agency with a new, partisan model of campaign finance law enforcement. Perhaps recognizing how unpopular this idea would be if put in plain English, the proposal’s backers couch […]

Filed Under: Blog, Enforcement, IRS and the Tea Party, Issues, Derek Kilmer, FEC, federal election commission, HR 2034, Jim Renacci, Restoring Integrity to America's Elections Act, richard nixon, Watergate, Montana, Wisconsin

Ravel’s Support for Ending PACs Exposes Her Long-Term Policy Goals

When Ann Ravel resigned from her post at the Federal Election Commission earlier this year, she made it clear that her activism would continue from outside the agency. To that end, she wrote an op-ed last week in the San Francisco Chronicle advocating for a bill in Congress entitled the “No PAC Act” (H.R. 1743). […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Federal, Contribution Limits Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, Ann Ravel, corruption, Fundraising, No PAC Act, PACs, Political Committees, Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia

CCP Commends New Mexico Governor Martinez for Vetoing Anti-Donor Privacy Bill

Alexandria, VA – The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP), America’s largest nonprofit defending First Amendment political speech rights, released the following statement commending New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez for her veto of S.B. 96: “Governor Martinez sided with the First Amendment by vetoing this poorly written bill,” explained CCP Chairman Bradley A. Smith. “The purpose of disclosure […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Newsroom, Press Releases, Donor Privacy, S.B. 96, Senate Bill 96, Susana Martinez, New Mexico