Independent Speech

Richer Parties, Better Politics? Party-Centered Campaign Finance Laws and American Democracy

Campaign finance laws effect how money is channeled through organizations to influence elections. In contrast to most other democracies, American campaign finance laws have been designed to be “candidate-centered” with relatively weak political parties. Additionally, recent trends have seen independent forms of speech such as political action committees (PACs) and Super PACs become much more […]

Filed Under: Contributions & Limits, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Political Committees & 527s, Political Parties, Research, campaign contributions, campaign finance, campaign finance reform, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, money in politics, Political Parties, Raymond La Raja, super PACs, Contribution Limits, Independent Speech, Political Committees & 527s, Contributions & Limits, Independent Speech, Political Committees & 527s, Political Parties

Public Election Funding: An Assessment of What We Would Like to Know

The implementation and expansion of tax-financed campaign programs in a few states and municipalities around the U.S. over the past decade raised the specter of significant changes in the financing of campaigns at the state and local level. Tax-financing advocates claimed that these programs would increase electoral competition, reduce the influence of campaign contributors and […]

Filed Under: External Relations Sub-Pages, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Tax Financed Campaigns Research, Tax-Financing, Taxpayer Financed Campaigns, Arizona, Arizona Free Enterprise PAC v. Bennett, campaign finance reform, clean elections, Connecticut, independent spending, Kenneth Mayer, maine, money in politics, New York City, public financing, rescue funds, taxpayer-financed campaigns, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Taxpayer Financed Campaigns, Arizona, Connecticut, Maine

'Super PACs' and the Role of 'Coordination' in Campaign Finance Law

In the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC, the Court struck down a federal ban on independent expenditures in political campaigns by corporations. The Court held that independent spending could not create the type of “corruption” that the Court has recognized as a compelling government interest sufficient to overcome the intrusion of […]

Filed Under: Coordination, External Relations Sub-Pages, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Issues, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Super PACs, Super PACs, Bradley A. Smith, Buckley v. Valeo, Center for Competitive Politics, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, coordination, corruption, money in politics, SpeechNow.org, super PACs, Supreme Court, Willamette Law Review, Coordination, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Coordination, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation

Free Speech, Fair Elections, and Campaign Finance Laws: Can They Co-Exist?

A prominent politician once observed that, “You can either have free speech or fair elections, but you can’t have both.” In this article, CCP Academic Advisor and Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School Joel M. Gora argues that saying has it all backwards. In fact, you cannot have one without the other. The election of 2012 […]

Filed Under: Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contributions & Limits, Expenditure, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Money in Politics, Research, Super PACs, Super PACs, campaign contributions, campaign finance, Contribution limits, First Amendment, free speech, money in politics, super PACs, Contribution Limits, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Contributions & Limits, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Independent Speech

Move to Defend: The Case against the Constitutional Amendments Seeking to Overturn Citizens United

In this essay, CCP Academic Advisor John Samples looks at the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision. It found that Congress lacked the power to prohibit independent spending on electoral speech by corporations. A later lower-court decision, SpeechNow v. Federal Election Commission, applied Citizens United to such spending and related fundraising by individuals. Concerns about the […]

Filed Under: First Amendment, Independent Speech, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Political Committees & 527s, Research, Super PACs, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Issue Advocacy, Political Committees & 527s, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Issue Advocacy, Political Committees & 527s

Disclosure in a Post-Citizens United Real World

In this article, CCP Chairman Bradley A. Smith examines several practical and constitutional issues with campaign finance disclosure. In particular, Smith scrutinizes those policies being advocated by proponents of greater regulation of political speech in response to the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. A primary political reaction to Citizens United […]

Filed Under: Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure, External Relations Sub-Pages, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Stand By Your Ad, Bradley A. Smith, Buckley v. Valeo, campaign finance disclosure, campaign finance reform, Capital University Law School, Center for Competitive Politics, Citizens United v. FEC, Dark Money, FECA, First Amendment, independent speech, money in politics, NAACP v. Alabama, West Virginia University, Disclosure, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Disclosure, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Stand By Your Ad

Donor Disclosure: Undermining the First Amendment

In this essay, Cleta Mitchell, partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Foley & Lardner LLP and a member of the firm’s Political Law Practice, examines campaign finance disclosure both as a policy and as a response to the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC, which freed corporations, labor unions, and trade […]

Filed Under: Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure State, External Relations Sub-Pages, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, campaign finance disclosure, campaign finance reform, Center for Competitive Politics, Citizens United v. FEC, Cleta Mitchell, Donor Disclosure, Foly & Lardner, money in politics, Disclosure, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Disclosure, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Minnesota

Assessing the Potential Effects of Citizens United: Evidence from the States

Critics of the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United argued it would lead to a flood of corporate and union cash that would warp electoral and policy outcomes. In this August 2012 paper, John Coleman and Timothy Werner test these claims by examining various campaign finance laws at the state level from 1977 through […]

Filed Under: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Independent Speech, Issue Advocacy, Issues, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Independent Speech, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Independent Speech, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation

Montana’s Supreme Court Relies on Erroneous History in Rejecting Citizens United

In this paper, constitutional historian Robert G. Natelson explains the Montana Supreme Court’s recent decision in Western Tradition Partnership v. Attorney General, in which it won national attention when it decided that the First Amendment does not fully protect the speech and association rights of people using the corporate form within Montana. The basis for […]

Filed Under: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Western Tradition Partnership v. Bullock Other Links, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Montana

Citizens United, Citizens’ Lives: A comparison of states with and without prohibitions on corporate independent expenditures

President Obama has claimed that the U.S Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission will empower “powerful interests” to “drown out the voices of everyday Americans.” In an analysis of state-specific data, CCP president Sean Parnell dispels this myth that the “public interest” will be adversely affected by the elimination of limits on independent political spending. CCP compared several policy and general welfare indicators considering that 24 states restricted political spending pre-Citizens United (contrasted with the 26 states which allowed unlimited independent spending). In this analysis, CCP demonstrates that there is no positive correlation between corporate spending and policy outcomes. There is no evidence that freedom for corporations, unions and advocacy groups to exercise their First Amendment rights in 26 states has caused any adverse impact on policy compared to the 24 states that restricted such spending.

Filed Under: Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contributions & Limits, Independent Speech, Issue Advocacy, Research, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation