Money in Politics

Roosevelt Institute Study on “Political Money” is Not the Revelation It Claims to Be

A new study on the impact of “money in politics” has been released by the Roosevelt Institute, and sympathetic outlets are already hailing it as a vindication of those who long argued that political spending directly influences policymaking in government. Despite its headline-grabbing claims, however, the study exaggerates the scale of political spending, overestimates its […]

Filed Under: Blog, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Federal, Contribution Limits Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, bribery, corruption, Dodd-Frank, Jie Chen, Paul Jorgensen, Roosevelt Institute, Thomas Ferguson

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

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

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

Failure of Campaign Self-Funders Highlights Once Again that Money Doesn’t Buy Elections

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. […]

Filed Under: Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, Center for Responsive Politics, CRP, Fundraising, Self-Funders

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

Resigning FEC Commissioner Ravel Never Stopped Her Partisan Grandstanding

FEC Commissioner Ann Ravel announced over Presidents’ Day Weekend that she would resign from her post with only a few months left in her term. In an accompanying New York Times op-ed, she cited the “gridlock” on the Commission as a major reason for resigning and took some parting shots at her colleagues. The first […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, Ann Ravel, FEC, federal election commission