Blog

Uproar in New Jersey after Congressman Names and Shames a Critic

A troubling story came to light this week out of New Jersey, where a bank employee resigned her position in part due to pressure over her political advocacy. House Appropriations Committee Chair Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) had sent a fundraising letter to the board member of a bank with a handwritten note singling out an employee, […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Harassment, Privacy, Rodney Frelinghuysen, New Jersey

Putting “Dark Money” In Context: Total Campaign Spending by Political Committees and Nonprofits per Election Cycle

PDF available here Not every group that spends money on campaigns or candidate-related speech is a political committee. If that were so, only politicians, parties, and PACs would have a voice in election campaigns. In addition to political committees, nonprofit groups are permitted to engage in a limited amount of campaign spending. These groups are […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, Money in Politics, 501(c)(4)'s, 501(c)(5)s, 501(c)(6)s, Dark Money, Nonprofit Spending, Political Committee Spending

CLC Says CCP’s Wrong about “Dark Money.” Here are the Facts. Readers can Decide.

In a blog post from earlier today, the Campaign Legal Center’s Brendan Fischer critiques a mid-April CCP blog post I authored highlighting “Five Lessons about Spending in the 2016 Campaign You Might Have Missed.” In his post, Fischer labels CCP’s analysis that “‘dark money’ was nearly non-existent in 2016” as “wrong,” “misleading,” and “an alternative […]

Filed Under: Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, 2016 Election Cycle, Brendan Fischer, Campaign Legal Center, Center for Responsive Politics, Dark Money, Grey Money, LLCs, One Nation, OpenSecrets

AEI Panel Explores the Reasons for Congressional Gridlock

On Monday, the American Enterprise Institute hosted an event titled “Is Congress Broken?” It featured contributing authors and editors of a book by the same name, published by the Brookings Institution. Those individuals were William F. Connelly, Jr. of Washington and Lee University, Kathryn L. Pearson of the University of Minnesota, Jonathan Rauch of the […]

Filed Under: Blog, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Press Release/In the News/Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, American Enterprise Institute, Brookings Institution, Donald Wolfensberger, Gary J. Schmitt, Gridlock, Jonathan Rauch, Kathryn L. Pearson, Political Parties, William F. Connelly Jr.

Cato Holds Discussion on New Floyd Abrams Book on First Amendment

On Monday, the Cato Institute hosted a forum to discuss Floyd Abrams’s new book, The Soul of the First Amendment. Abrams is well known as a scholar and litigator of free speech issues. He is Senior Counsel at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP and has been involved in numerous Supreme Court cases, including the famous […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, Cato Institute, First Amendment, Floyd Abrams, free speech, Ilya Shapiro, Roger Pilon, Ronald Collins, The Soul of the First Amendment

Citizen Sleuth or Citizen Snoop? The Dangers of Disclosure in the Internet Age

At its core, the debate about political disclosure is actually pretty simple. The information provided about donors to the government has the benefit of allowing citizens to keep track of the flow of money to candidates, and through that information, corruption may be exposed. The cost of disclosure is that the personal information (names, home […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Federal, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Citizen Sleuth, Donald Trump, Harassment, HuffPost, Privacy, Trump Inauguration

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