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

Wisconsin's "John Doe" Decision: More than "Reformers" Can Handle

Two weeks ago, the Wisconsin Supreme Court sent a shock wave through campaign finance watchers with its decision in Two Unnamed Petitioners v. Peterson. The decision terminated Wisconsin’s controversial, long-running “John Doe” investigation into allegedly illegal coordination between Governor Scott Walker and a large number of conservative organizations in the state, and set forth a […]

Filed Under: Blog, Contribution Limits, Brennan Center, campaign finance, Campaign Legal Center, coordinated expenditure, Election Law Blog, Independent Expenditures, John Doe Investigation, Rick Hasen, Tara Malloy, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, Wisconsin Supreme Court

Ad hominem attacks from “Sunlight”

The New York Times recently published an opinion piece by David Primo, one of CCP’s academic advisers. Prof. Primo’s article, while given the provocative title “Against Disclosure,” is far more modest in tone and substance than that heading implies. Prof. Primo points to an empirical study that he conducted, the findings of which were published […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, campaign finance, Disclosure, New York Times

The Curious Case of Contribution Limits in an Era of Independent Expenditures

Minnesota was one of eight states to raise contribution limits in 2013, but according to some, the Gopher State hasn’t gone far enough to resolve concerns surrounding its campaign finance system. The AP reports: Minnesota campaign finance regulators are wrestling with how to maintain proper separation between candidates and political groups independently spending money on […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, campaign contributions, campaign finance, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Contribution limits, coordination, First Amendment, independent speech, independent spending, Luke Wachob, Minnesota, Minnesota Campaign Finance Board, money in politics, super PACs, Minnesota

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

Blatant Partisanship and Outright Misinformation: Public Citizen’s Press Conference

Yesterday’s Public Citizen event calling for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to promulgate a rule forcing corporations to disclose their political spending was a disappointing mixture of blatant partisanship and outright misinformation. Headlined by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) – for the first twenty minutes or so – Public Citizen’s panel […]

Filed Under: Blog, Communications, Corporate Governance Press Release/In the News/Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, campaign finance, campaign finance reform, corporate contributions, corporate disclosure, corporate governance, corporate speech, First Amendment, IRS and the Tea Party, money in politics, proxy, public citizen

Wild hypotheticals and reality

Forget the proverbial “$64,000 question.” Yesterday’s Supreme Court hearing on McCutcheon v. FEC was marked by $100,000, $200,000, and $3.6 million questions. But were any of them actually instructive or even relevant to the legal issues at stake? As Justice Alito said, “[W]hat I see are wild hypotheticals that are not obviously plausible or — […]

Filed Under: Blog, Litigation Blog/Press Releases, McCutcheon v. FEC Other Links, campaign finance, McCutcheon v FEC, Supreme Court

Three lessons from the McCutcheon argument.

Oral argument has a tendency to clarify things. It’s often the only opportunity the litigants and judges have to publicly discuss a case and point out which parts they find particularly important. This is especially true of cases like McCutcheon which, despite overarching themes of free speech and democracy, are grounded in our nation’s complex […]

Filed Under: Blog, Litigation Blog/Press Releases, McCutcheon v. FEC Other Links, campaign finance, Contribution limits, McCutcheon v FEC, Supreme Court

Campaign Spending and Electoral Competition: Towards More Policy Relevant Research

Despite long-standing scholarly literature on the electoral effects of campaign spending, academic research provides little practical policy guidance. In part, this is because existing studies have focused narrowly on some vexing statistical issues, while ignoring many others. However, this is also because political scientists have not devoted enough effort to conducting evaluation studies of how […]

Filed Under: Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contributions & Limits, Expenditure, External Relations Sub-Pages, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Political Parties, Research, campaign finance, campaign finance reform, campaign spending, First Amendment, Jeff Milyo, money in politics, political science research, Contribution Limits, Expenditure, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Political Committees & 527s, Contributions & Limits, Expenditure, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Political Committees & 527s

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