By Mark Holden
On Wednesday, September 21, I spent the afternoon on Capitol Hill speaking with free speech thought leaders of all different backgrounds. I want to thank Representative Peter J. Roskam for hosting and inviting me to speak on this panel about the immediate need to defend free speech against current threats it faces on multiple levels. I was joined by Representative Bill Flores,Wall Street Journal Columnist Kim Strassel, Center for Competitive Politics Chairman and Founder Bradley A. Smith, and the panel was moderated by WMAL Radio’s Chris Plante.
Earlier this summer the House passed HR 5053, Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act, to protect tax-exempt groups from disclosing their donors. Giving the public access to donor lists will exploit donors and discourage contributions.
By Robert Eno
Once again the liberal elites in Hollywood just don’t get it. They rail for more campaign finance regulations, and against Citizens United without really knowing what that means. Content creators should be the ones most thrilled with the ruling in Citizens United vs. the FEC … not arguing for its reinstatement. In fact, that viral video with Avengers stars in it from Joss Whedon may have been considered illegal in a pre-Citizens United world…
Here’s a brief discussion of the case from the Cornell University School of Law:
…amici argue, the “onerous burdens” that BCRA places on such broadcasts causes many non-profit corporations, and in turn, their private donors, to simply remain silent rather than search out alternative means of expressing their free speech. – In addition, amici Center for Competitive Politics points to studies that have found that mandatory disclosure requirements, similar to those imposed by BCRA, dissuades many private individuals from participating in political activities.
By Ashley Balcerzak
Lessig continues to push his “plan to save democracy.” He proposed a voucher system, where taxpayers would get a $50 tax refund and use it to donate to congressional candidates who agreed to opt in to the program: If they accepted the vouchers, the only other funds they could take would be individual contributions of $100 or less. Lessig also pushes for matching public funds for campaigns that forgo PAC money…
Others worry about how far the government control would extend.
“When the government is handing out a lot of money to campaigns, it will have an interest that the money isn’t misused and that comes with a lot of risk over the long run,” said David Keating, president of the conservative Center for Competitive Politics, a nonprofit that advocates for less donor disclosure and higher – or no – limits. “They might want to start controlling what the candidates are allowed to say, like maybe they’ll say there are too many negative ads.”