Compulsory Donor Disclosure: When Government Monitors Its Citizens

In this Heritage Foundation Legal Memorandum by CCP Chairman Bradley A. Smith, Research Fellow Scott Blackburn, and Policy Analyst Luke Wachob, the authors explain how political speech in America is subject to an ever expanding disclosure regime as more and more private information – including citizens’ names, home addresses, employers, and occupations, as well as […]

Filed Under: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Disclosure, Disclosure, Faulty Assumptions, Featured Content, First Amendment, Independent Speech, IRS and the Tea Party, Research, Dark Money, Heritage Foundation, Private Giving, Disclosure, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Disclosure, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Independent Speech, California, Montana, New York, Wisconsin

The Brennan Center Backs Off the Ledge

The campaign finance “reform” movement is at a crossroads. Some influential elements are pushing the envelope farther than ever, but others are stepping back to re-examine whether lifting certain restrictions can achieve what 40 years of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) and a decade plus of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) could not: […]

Filed Under: Blog, Coordination, Money in Politics, Political Parties, Brennan Center for Justice

Delusions about “Dysfunction”: Understanding the Federal Election Commission

Supporters of more regulation of political speech increasingly seek to discredit the Federal Election Commission (FEC) – the agency with exclusive civil enforcement of federal campaign finance laws. The purpose of these attacks is twofold: first, to pressure other federal agencies, such as the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Federal […]

Filed Under: Blog, Enforcement, FEC, Research, Enforcement, Enforcement

Testing Inferences about American Politics: A Review of the “Oligarchy” Result

In a well-publicized 2014 study, Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page argue that economic elites and business interest groups exert strong influence on U.S. government policy while average citizens have virtually no influence at all. Their conclusions are drawn from a model which is said to reveal the causal impact of each group’s preferences. In this […]

Filed Under: Faulty Assumptions, Research, Benjamin Page, Inequality of Representation, Martin Gilens, Omar S. Bashir, Faulty Assumptions, Faulty Assumptions

Are Corporations People?

This National Affairs essay by Carson Holloway examines the vocal claims by some that “corporations are not people.” As Holloway explains, progressives, ranging from ordinary protestors all the way to President Obama, have insisted that, because corporations are not living, breathing human beings, corporate personhood — the idea that corporations have certain legal and constitutional rights — is a […]

Filed Under: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Carson Holloway, Corporate Personhood, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation

Is Corporate Political Activity Controversial? New Polling Emphatically Says No.

If the government is considering a law that would damage your business, how would you respond? According to a new poll from the Public Affairs Council (PAC), an overwhelming majority of Americans would attempt to persuade elected officials to change the law to protect their company. These findings challenge the common assertion that Americans don’t […]

Filed Under: Blog, Lobbying, Other Resources – Corporate Governance, Public Affairs Council, Lobbying, Lobbying, Poll

The Victims of “Dark Money” Disclosure: How Government Reporting Requirements Suppress Speech and Limit Charitable Giving

In this Goldwater Institute Policy Report, author Jon Riches highlights the coordinated attack on private political speech under the banner of “dark money” and its dangerous effect on nonprofit organizations. As the report explains, anonymous political speech has been essential to democratic discourse since the founding of our republic. Indeed, ratification of the U.S. Constitution […]

Filed Under: Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Handouts, First Amendment, Issue Advocacy, 501(c)(3)s, Dark Money, Goldwater Institute, Research (Disclosure), Disclosure, First Amendment, Issue Advocacy, Disclosure, First Amendment, Issue Advocacy, Arizona, California, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Wisconsin

The People’s Pledge Gimmick: Bad for Voters

In the 2010 cases Citizens United v. FEC and v. FEC, courts recognized that the First Amendment protects Americans’ right to pool their resources and speak about political candidates. Following both decisions, a new type of political organization emerged – one that may make expenditures independently of candidates and political parties. Known informally today […]

Filed Under: Independent Speech, Money in Politics, Research, Super PACs, Super PACs, People's Pledge, Independent Speech, Independent Speech

Five Misconceptions about “Dark Money”

“Dark money” is a pejorative term for spending on ads urging the election or defeat of candidates by nonprofit groups – typically 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations, 501(c)(5) labor unions, and 501(c)(6) trade associations – that do not report the names and addresses of their individual donors to the government, unless donations are earmarked to fund […]

Filed Under: Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Federal, Disclosure Handouts, External Relations Sub-Pages, Independent Speech, Issues, Money in Politics, Research, Dark Money, Disclosure, Handouts (Disclosure), Research (Disclosure), Disclosure, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Disclosure, First Amendment, Independent Speech

The Regulation of Political Finance and Corruption

In this article, authors Avi Ben-Bassat and Momi Dahan use the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) database on political finance regulations for 82 countries to examine the effect campaign contribution limits have on political corruption. Upon analyzing the data, after controlling for a standard list of explanatory variables, the authors found that […]

Filed Under: Contribution Limits, Contributions & Limits, Research, corruption, Contribution Limits, Contributions & Limits