Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

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

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

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

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

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

Hasen on Gorsuch on Citizens United

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

Significant Constitutional and Practical Issues with Washington House Bill 1807

The Honorable Mark Miloscia The Honorable Hans Zeiger The Honorable Sam Hunt Re:  Significant Constitutional and Practical Issues with House Bill 1807 Dear Chair Miloscia, Vice Chair Zeiger, Ranking Minority Member Hunt, and Members of the Senate State Government Committee: On behalf of the Center for Competitive Politics, I am writing you today to respectfully […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Disclosure, Disclosure Comments, Disclosure State, External Relations Comments and Testimony, State, State Comments and Testimony, Buckley v. Valeo, Harassment, Human Life of Washington v. Brumsickle, Junk Disclosure, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life v. Swanson, NAACP v. Alabama, New Mexico Youth Organized v. Herrera, Washington

Neil Gorsuch, and the Supreme Court’s Role on Money in Politics

Democrats in Congress have signaled their intention to make campaign finance a major theme of the Gorsuch hearings this week. No doubt with that in mind, the anti-speech group Demos has rushed out a document criticizing past U.S. Supreme Court decisions that, they claim, have “benefited a small class of wealthy, white conservative men.” The […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Communications, Issues, Money in Politics, Buckley v. Valeo, campaign finance, Davis v. FEC, Demos, Donald Trump, Gorsuch, McCutcheon, Neil Gorsuch, PACs, Sierra Club, Supreme Court

Gallup Poll Shows Less Than 0.5% of Americans Think Campaign Finance “Reform” is Top Problem Facing the Country

Supporters of greater campaign finance regulation often claim that their issue is of paramount importance to voters. Their evidence is often biased polling. For example, a 2016 Ipsos poll commissioned by Issue One asks respondents to rank the importance of overly broad issue categories like “the economy” and “the military” alongside “reducing the influence of […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, Money in Politics, Donald Trump, Gallup, Issue One, polling