Reporter Alert: The New York Times and a “Grassroots” Lobbying Exception

The Federal Election Commission is poised this week to consider crafting a regulation providing a limited grassroots lobbying exception to McCain-Feingold’s 60 day pre-election limitations on broadcast advertising that mentions a candidate.  The New York Times has an editorial on it, but it’s not one from which a person could actually learn anything.  In fact, like so many Times editorials, it helps to explain why the more people read newspapers, the less they know about campaign finance laws.  Click on the title link for a little more factual understanding of the issue behind this latest Times temper tantrum.

Filed Under: Blog

Has Tax Funding of Presidential Elections Been a Success?

Last week, the campaign finance pro-regulatory community launched a coordinated media effort to drum up support for increasing the federal budget earmark for presidential campaign subsidies.  At the root of these efforts to earmark more tax dollars for the "public" financing system is a belief that, in the words of two prominent advocates of regulation, "the presidential public financing system served the country well for most of its thirty-year existence."

 But by why criteria has the system "served the country well?"  By what criteria should it be measured?  These are questions the regulatory advocates don’t ask, let alone answer. 

Filed Under: Blog

Block the Vote: Abusing Election Laws to Limit Competition

In this Washington Post op-ed, former Federal Election Commission Chairman and CCP Senior Advisor Bradley Smith notes the growing use of election laws to stifle competition rather than assure orderly elections.  The article deals with laws regulating access to the ballot.  It is worth noting, however, that campaign finance laws are also abused in this fashion.

Filed Under: Blog

CCP Advisor Herb Alexander Honored by IPSA

Herb Alexander, a member of CCP’s Board of Academic Advisors, Professor Emeritus at the University of Southern California and founder and Director Emeritus of the Citizen’s Research Foundation, has been named Life President of the International Political Science Association Research Committee on Political Finance and Corruption.

The nation’s most respected authority on political finance, Professor Alexander is the author or editor of over 15 books and 100 articles, plus dozens of editorial columns.  Over the past five decades he has advised Presidents, members of Congress, and dozens of commissions and agencies on campaign finance issues and policy.  CCP is honored to have his support and advice, and congratulates him on this latest honor.

Filed Under: Blog

Newsreel III

JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia — The girl in the gold Lexus waved at Husam Thobaity.  She was in the back seat, covered by a black veil that hid everything but her eyes.

"She had the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen," Thobaity recalled.  " So I gave her my number by Bluetooth."

Click on the title above to read more. 

Filed Under: Blog

CCP Academic Advisor Allison R. Hayward Asks: Buckley as Superprecedent?

CCP Academic Advisor and Law Professor Allison R. Hayward, of George Mason University Law School, examines whether Buckley has become unassailable.  Review a draft of The Per Curiam Opinion of Steel: Buckley v. Valeo as Superprecedent?  Clues from Wisconsin and Vermont, forthcoming in the Cato Supreme Court Review, and available now on SSRN.

Filed Under: Blog

When the Law is Used to Stifle Competition

Campaign and election laws are often used to stifle, not enhance political competition. 

Filed Under: Blog, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas

Lamont, Lieberman, and the Distorting Effects of Campaign Finance Law on Political Competition

Ned Lamont’s primary victory over Joe Lieberman exposes the ways in which our campaign finance laws distort the political choices available to Americans and hinder political competition.

Filed Under: Blog, Connecticut

Contribution Contradiction in North Carolina

North Carolina Governor Mike Easley has been busy. On July 23, 2006, he signed into law H.B. 1845, which prohibits the personal use of contributions by candidates and campaign committees. Andrew Ballard, “N.C. Gov. Signs Law Restricting Use of Campaign Contributions,” BNA Money & Politics Report, July 26, 2006. On August 4, he signed H.B. 1843, which prohibits lobbyists from making campaign contributions to legislators or public servants. Andrew Ballard, “New N.C. Lobbying Restrictions Signed Into Law by Governor,” BNA Money & Politics Report, August 7, 2006. In an era of Abramoff investigation into already illegal activity and its concomitant legislative proposals for further “reform,” it is worth mentioning an oft unnoticed contradiction represented in Governor Easley’s recent enactments.

To read more, click on the title above.

Filed Under: Blog, North Carolina

CCP, Cato and IJ: Washington Radio Jockeys Case

Bob Bauer asks what silence says about the reform agenda in the San Juan County Radio Jockeys Case and mentions CCP along the way.

Filed Under: Blog, Washington