Published Articles

Washington Times: Tech companies ask Supreme Court to block cellphone data grab (In the News)

By Alex Swoyer 
Some of the world’s biggest tech companies pleaded with the Supreme Court this week to update decades-old precedent governing telephones, saying that cell-tracking technology threatens Americans’ most fundamental privacy rights…
Lower courts have split over whether data held by a third party is protected, and Selina MacLaren, an attorney for Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said there’s a lot of excitement surrounding Carpenter’s case.
She said the case could even affect the way reporters go about their jobs.
“This type of surveillance threatens to reveal where journalists go and where their sources go,” she said.
David Keating, president of the Center for Competitive Politics, said he feared governments trying to monitor Americans engaged in other First Amendment activities such as freedom of association.
“In many respects, this is potentially a lot more serious than all the concern about the NSA telephone call records and where they’ve analyzed calls being made overseas and such, because this is tracking movements of U.S. citizens in the United States and the government being able to get that information without having to get a warrant,” said Mr. Keating.

Filed Under: David Keating, In the News, Quotes CCP

SiriusXM Patriot: David Keating on The First Amendment in the Social Media Age (In the News)

SiriusXM Patriot: David Keating on The First Amendment in the Social Media Age David Keating, President at the Center for Competitive Politics, speaks with Tom & Deneen Borelli about the First Amendment, Elected Officials and Social Media in light of lawsuits being filed by the ACLU on behalf of constituents who have been blocked by […]

Filed Under: Broadcast, Video, Audio, David Keating, In the News, Quotes CCP

Rio Grande Foundation: July 8, 2017 Edition of RGF Weekly Radio Show (In the News)

Paul sits down with Scott Blackburn from the Center for Competitive Politics to discuss efforts by New Mexico’s secretary of State to force organizations like Rio Grande Foundation to disclose their donors. They talk about campaign finance issues and why average Americans might not want to be listed in government databases. 

Filed Under: Broadcast, Video, Audio, In the News, Scott Blackburn

USA Today: Do we still believe in free speech? Only until we disagree (In the News)

By Anders Gyllenhaal 
After a century of building free speech rights into our laws and culture, Americans are backing away from one of the country’s defining principles.
Set off by the nation’s increasingly short fuse, students, politicians, teachers and parents are not just refusing to hear each other out, we’re coming up with all sorts of ways of blocking ideas we don’t agree with…
“When people quit listening to each other, there’s that lack of discussion and a lack of understanding,” said Bradley A. Smith, the former chairman of the Federal Election Commission and professor at Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio. “That’s when there’s a growing tendency to think the other side shouldn’t be able to say what they think.”… 
Today’s conflicts are the most complicated yet and show no sign of easing. But as more than one scholar has pointed out, free speech is the starting place for all our other rights. We shouldn’t lose sight of what’s at stake: Without the free flow of ideas, the American experiment cannot succeed.  

Filed Under: Brad Smith, In the News, Quotes CCP

The Hill: On voter privacy, we’ve taken one step forward and two steps back (In the News)

By Alex Cordell 
The recent controversy over a White House commission request for voter data shows many state officials support protecting the privacy of this information. However, too many states also favor new ways to violate the privacy of supporters of charities, advocacy groups, and trade associations by requiring these groups to reveal information about the names, home addresses, employers, and donation amounts of their members…
New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver said she would “never release the personally identifiable information of New Mexico voters” and claimed she would continue “protecting the voting rights and personal privacy of our voters.”…
In New Mexico, Secretary of State Toulouse Oliver has proposed a new rule invading the privacy of supporters of groups, including charities. She wants to publicly reveal the names and home addresses of supporters of such groups for merely mentioning candidates or even publishing nonpartisan information…
It is encouraging that so many states are asserting the need to protect voter privacy from government overreach. However, we should not forget that individual privacy rights are violated every day by overreaching, poorly-written campaign finance laws. 

Filed Under: Alex Cordell, In the News, Published Articles

SCOTUSblog: Wednesday round-up (In the News)

By Edith Roberts 
At the Center for Competitive Politics, Luke Wachob “discusses three consequences of an America without the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Buckley v. Valeo,” and concludes that “[p]reserving Buckley is essential to protecting the First Amendment right to free speech.” 

Filed Under: In the News, Luke Wachob, Quotes CCP

SF Gate: Experts defend, oppose Electoral College, campaign finance rules (In the News)

By Bob Egelko  
The Electoral College is good for democracy and regulation of political campaign financing is generally bad, one expert on election laws told a judicial conference in San Francisco on Tuesday…
Organizers of the panel on law and politics at the annual conference of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals were evidently looking for a diversity of viewpoints, and got what they were looking for…
As for regulation, Smith – author of the 2001 book “Unfree Speech: The Folly of Campaign Finance Reform” – said laws requiring disclosure of campaign contributions provide little useful information to the public. He endorsed the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling that allowed corporations and unions, as a matter of free speech, to make unlimited political donations…
Ravel, also former chairwoman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission, said she was particularly concerned with high-tech “micro-targeting” of voting populations, aimed at lowering their turnout with fabricated campaign ads and “fake news spread by bots.”
But Smith said voter participation was suffering because “campaigns are now centralized, in part because you have so many laws.”

Filed Under: Brad Smith, In the News, Quotes CCP

Courthouse News Service: Voter Fraud Extremely Rare, Conference Panel Agrees (In the News)

Courthouse News Service: Voter Fraud Extremely Rare, Conference Panel Agrees By Matthew Renda Professor Richard Hasen, co-editor of the Election Law Journal, Ann Ravel, a law professor and former chair of the Federal Elections Commission and Bradley Smith, a professor who also formerly chaired the FEC, discussed some of the most pressing issues regarding voter […]

Filed Under: Brad Smith, In the News, Quotes CCP

Santa Fe New Mexican: Rules combatting “dark money” in politics facing growing opposition (In the News)

By Steve Terrell
In an opinion piece published by The New Mexican this week, Gessing and Bradley Smith, chairman of the Center for Competitive Politics and a former member of the Federal Election Commission, wrote, “Bureaucratic rule-makings can serve an important function. They help to implement and clarify laws that are passed by the Legislature. But here, instead of implementing the law, the Secretary of State’s Office is enacting rules that were rejected in the constitutional lawmaking process.”… 
Toulouse Oliver’s proposed rule is based on a bill that passed the Legislature with bipartisan support this year but was vetoed by Gov. Susana Martinez. Martinez wrote in her veto message, “While I support efforts to make our political process more transparent, the broad language in the bill could lead to unintended consequences that would force groups like charities to disclose the names and addresses of their contributors in certain circumstances. The requirements in this bill would likely discourage charities and other groups that are primarily non-political from advocating for their cause and could also discourage individuals from giving to charities.” 

Filed Under: Brad Smith, In the News, Quotes CCP

Santa Fe New Mexican: A secretary of state power grab on nonprofit privacy (In the News)

By Bradley A. Smith and Paul Gessing
Bureaucratic rule-makings can serve an important function. They help to implement and clarify laws that are passed by the Legislature. But here, instead of implementing the law, the Secretary of State’s Office is enacting rules that were rejected in the constitutional lawmaking process. Although pitched as “political disclosure,” as Martinez wrote in her veto message in April, “the broad language in the bill could lead to unintended consequences that would force groups like charities to disclose the names and addresses of their contributors in certain circumstances.”…
Nonprofit speech about candidates allows voters to hear the varied perspectives of groups that do valuable work in our communities. For a variety of religious, civic and political reasons, many donors to these organizations do not want to have their names and home addresses published online for their boss and nosy neighbors to see. Rest assured, many groups will choose silence over exposing their supporters’ private information.

Filed Under: Brad Smith, In the News, Published Articles