Policy Primer: Campaign Finance Disclosure – The Devil is in the Details

As this Policy Primer on campaign finance disclosure explains, although advocates for greater regulation of political speech claim that there are large amounts of undisclosed money in politics, in fact, all spending that calls for the election or defeat of candidates is already disclosed, as is all spending and all but the smallest donations to […]

Filed Under: Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Federal, Disclosure Handouts, Disclosure State, External Relations Sub-Pages, Research, Buckley v. Valeo, campaign finance disclosure, campaign finance reform, Center for Competitive Politics, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Dark Money, Disclosure, Good Government, Major Purpose Test, money in politics, Reformers, transparency, Disclosure, Disclosure

In Defense of “Super PAC’s” and of the First Amendment

In this article, CCP Academic Advisor and Brooklyn Law School Professor Joel Gora offers a defense of “Super PACs” and of the First Amendment principles that they embody; namely, that in order to make our democracy work, we need a robust, wide-open and uninhibited discussion of politics and government. Although Super PACs have gotten bad […]

Filed Under: First Amendment, Independent Speech, Research, Super PACs, Academic Advisory Board, ACLU, Brooklyn Law School, Buckley v. Valeo, campaign finance, campaign finance reform, Center for Competitive Politics, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, First Amendment, free speech, independent expenditure, independent speech, independent spending, Joel Gora, money in politics, SpeechNow.org v. FEC, super PACs, First Amendment, Independent Speech, First Amendment, Independent Speech

'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

The Meaning of Corruption: A (not so) Quick Reply to David Gans

David Gans has posted a reply to my recent piece on the meaning of corruption in campaign finance law, again asserting that “dependence” corruption, the “corruption of institutions,” is the justification for laws limiting political participation. Gans’ reply is off-base is a variety of ways. He simply reads my whole post incorrectly, and then reasserts […]

Filed Under: Blog, Litigation Blog/Press Releases, McCutcheon v. FEC Other Links, Buckley v. Valeo, corruption, Federalist Papers, Gans, Lessig, Madison, McCutcheon

The Meaning of Corruption in Campaign Finance Law, and Buckley's Contribution/Expenditure Distinction

Students of campaign finance learn early on that contribution limits are subjected to less judicial scrutiny, and therefore generally upheld by the courts, while spending limits are subject to the highest judicial scrutiny, and consistently struck down by the Courts. Bob Bauer and David Gans have been going back and forth on this, and their […]

Filed Under: Blog, Litigation Blog/Press Releases, McCutcheon v. FEC Other Links, Bauer, Buckley v. Valeo, corruption, FEC, Gans, McCutcheon, SpeechNow.org

The Right to “Do Politics” and Not Just to Speak: Thinking About the Constitutional Protections for Political Action

In this Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and Public Policy article by former White House Counsel to Barack Obama, Robert F. Bauer, the author examines the Supreme Court’s distinction between political contributions and campaign expenditures and its impact on campaign finance jurisprudence. In Buckley v. Valeo, the Court upheld the Federal Election Campaign Act’s limits […]

Filed Under: Contributions & Limits, Coordination, Expenditure, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Buckley v. Valeo, FECA, Federal Election Campaign Act, McCain-Feingold, Robert F. Bauer, Contribution Limits, Coordination, Expenditure, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Contributions & Limits, Coordination, Expenditure, Jurisprudence & Litigation

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

The Per Curiam Opinion of Steel: Buckley v. Valeo as Superprecedent? Clues from Wisconsin and Vermont

Randall v. Sorrell and Wisconsin Right to Life v. FEC brought before the Supreme Court a variety of campaign finance regulations, from contribution limits and expenditure limits to restrictions on incorporated entities. Despite expressions of discomfort by many Justices with the way modern campaign finance is regulated, the Court declined to rework Buckley v. Valeo‘s […]

Filed Under: Contributions & Limits, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Buckley v. Valeo, Randall v. Sorrell, Wisconsin Right to Life v. FEC, Contribution Limits, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Contributions & Limits, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Vermont, Wisconsin

Perceptions of Corruption and Campaign Finance: When Public Opinion Determines Constitutional Law

In this article, authors Nathaniel Persily and Kelli Lammie, test the empirical assumptions about American public opinion found in the Supreme Court’s opinions in campaign finance jurisprudence. The area of campaign finance is a unique one in First Amendment law because the Court has allowed the mere perception of a problem (in this case, corruption) […]

Filed Under: Contributions & Limits, Faulty Assumptions, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Money in Politics, Research, Buckley v. Valeo, Confidence in Government, First Amendment, Kelly Lammie, McConnell v. FEC, money in politics, Nathaniel Persily, Public Corruption, Public Opinion Polling, Supreme Court, Contribution Limits, Faulty Assumptions, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Contributions & Limits, Faulty Assumptions, Jurisprudence & Litigation

The Hydraulics of Campaign Finance Reform

In this Texas Law Review article, authors Samuel Issacharoff and Pamela S. Karlan explain how campaign finance “reform” proposals often go awry. According to Issacharoff and Karlan, it doesn’t take an Einstein to discern a First Law of Political Thermodynamics – the desire for political power cannot be destroyed, but at most, channeled into different forms […]

Filed Under: Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Political Parties, Research, Buckley v. Valeo, Federal Election Campaign Act, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Political Parties