By Alex Baiocco
The truth is, academic research demonstrates that existing campaign finance regulations do nothing to reduce perceptions of corruption or increase trust in government. More speech restrictions will equal more of the same.
Nor is there evidence that money “buys” electoral outcomes…
In other words, advocates of further regulating political speech are making demonstrably false claims that call into question the legitimacy of electoral outcomes.
When Donald Trump first claimed that the election was “rigged” as a candidate, critics were quick to suggest that making such a claim was a threat to democracy. Why? Because it called into question the legitimacy of our election results.
As president, Trump has continued to make similar claims…
Trump’s critics are right to call him out for making such serious allegations without providing any legitimate evidence. But the evidence that money buys elections is just as lacking as the evidence of voter fraud in New Hampshire. Those same critics who call out Trump should also criticize the “reform” lobby with equal fervor.
By Alex Baiocco
Daily Signal: Judge Warns 9th Circuit’s Use of Trump Campaign Pledge ‘Judicial Psychoanalysis’ (In the News)
By Fred Lucas
A federal judge is raising an alarm about “judicial psychoanalysis” resulting from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on President Donald Trump’s executive order…
Applying campaign statements when interpreting law “sows chaos,” said Judge Alex Kozinski, who has been on the 9th Circuit since 1985, in his dissent…
The 9th Circuit majority cited three Supreme Court cases displaying precedent that “evidence of purpose beyond the face of the challenged law” can be applied in interpreting the intent of a measure…
However, those cases pertained to deliberations in making the law rather than campaign promises, noted Bradley Smith, chairman of the Center for Competitive Politics, a group that opposes restrictions on campaign speech.
“It’s definitely unusual for judges to use campaign statements to define whether an action is constitutional,” Smith, a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, told The Daily Signal. “I doubt it would chill campaign speech, but it is a dangerous path. This could be very selectively enforced for candidates that use shorthand or off-the-cuff remarks. Already political discourse is too scripted. If this becomes a precedent, it will mean no spontaneity and pure teleprompter.”
Rick Hasen thinks that Judge Gorsuch “misstates” the holding of Citizens United v. FEC in his Senate testimony, when he states: I think there is ample room for this body to legislate, even in light of Citizens United, whether it has to do with contribution limits, whether it has to with expenditure limits, or whether it has […]
Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issues, Buckley v. Valeo, Derek Muller, Gorsuch, Neil Gorsuch, Rick Hasen, Supreme Court
As most any law student can tell you, “strict scrutiny” is the toughest standard of judicial review in federal court. Normally, it applies whenever the government seeks to place limits on the exercise of a “fundamental right.” To survive “strict scrutiny,” a law must address a “compelling” government interest, and be “narrowly tailored” to address […]
Filed Under: Blog, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Press Release/In the News/Blog, Amy Klobuchar, Federal Election Campaign Act, First Amendment, Gorsuch, Hobby Lobby, Neil Gorsuch, Riddle v. Hickenlooper, strict scrutiny, Supreme Court, Colorado
Does using taxpayers’ hard-earned money to fund speech they fundamentally disagree with reduce corruption in government? This may seem like a preposterous question, but according to supporters of tax-financed campaigns, the answer is yes. Presently, one candidate in New York City is providing a clear example of what exactly can go wrong when you start […]
Alexandria, VA – The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) released the following statement about Judge Neil Gorsuch’s record on campaign finance laws: “There is only one campaign finance ruling by Judge Neil Gorsuch. He agreed with a unanimous opinion written by a judge appointed by Barack Obama,” said CCP President David Keating. “The law allowed […]
Filed Under: Blog, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Press Release/In the News/Blog, Contribution Limits State, Press Releases, Gorsuch, Neil Gorsuch, Riddle v. Hickenlooper, Supreme Court, Colorado
By Peter Overby
Peter Overby, Byline: Don McGahn was the lawyer for Trump’s presidential campaign committee. Like his boss, he takes a dim view of too much regulation. And like his boss, he isn’t shy about saying so. Consider this moment back in 2011, when McGahn was at the Federal Election Commission. He was arguing with another commissioner over the role of super PACs. Listen closely here.
(soundbite of archived recording)
Don McGahn: You don’t get to take matters in your own hands and take the book and just rip out the coordination rules, you know? And now my book’s complete because we don’t have the rules in there anymore.
Overby: And he tossed the ripped-out pages in the air. Brad Smith, head of the conservative Center for Competitive Politics, says McGahn worked hard to rein in FEC lawyers that he saw as overzealous.
Brad Smith: The vituperation he sometimes receives I think reflects the fact that he was very effective at, you know, what he sought to do, which was keeping the FEC within its constitutional and statutory role.
Charleston Gazette-Mail: WV Senate Judiciary Committee eyes raising campaign funding limits (In the News)
By Jake Zuckerman
The committee reviewed Senate Bill 539, a lengthy measure that revises election finance laws down to the smallest nuts and bolts.
Counsel for the committee, Jennifer Greenlief, said the main things the bill does include increasing campaign contribution limits, increasing use of campaign funds and increasing allowances of individual expenditures…
The bill also raises the dollar amount that triggers donors’ disclosure of affiliations…
The committee heard testimony from several speakers. Speaking in favor of the bill, Deputy Secretary of State Steve Connolly said he and his department support the bill, saying it gives candidates more control over their campaigns and decreases their reliance on nondisclosed, outside money.
Also pushing the bill, Allen Dickerson, legal director of the Center for Competitive Politics, a Virginia group that advocates for the deregulation of campaign finance law, said the measure would bring the state up to federal guidelines.
During his testimony, he said he was invited by state Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns, R-Ohio, when asked.
Last week, the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) published a blog post about the dismal track record of self-funding candidates who run for elected office. In the 2016 election cycle, such candidates only won their races about 12.5% of the time. Suffice it to say, eschewing fundraising does not tend to be a winning strategy. […]
By Alex Baiocco
With confirmation hearings for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch fast approaching, the specter of corporate influence is sure to emerge once again in the headlines. Predictably, several Democratic Senators have already begun their diatribe against “big money corporate interests” and a nominee who “does not recognize that corporations are not people.”…
Democratic politicians and organizations that support an anti-speech agenda continue to push the narrative that corporate speech rights give corporations the right to “buy elections and run our government.” This is preposterous.
Everyone recognizes that protecting freedom of speech is good and desirable. The fact that a group of citizens is operating a business should not disqualify them from First Amendment protections. No, corporations are not people. And no, money is not speech.
But corporations are comprised of people with rights. And if those people choose to exercise their First Amendment right to make a political statement, they will need to spend money to do so effectively. To say that the First Amendment does not apply to U.S. businesses is to say that the First Amendment does not apply to the people who form and operate them.