Giving Taxpayer Dollars to Local D.C. Politicians is a Bad Idea

Last week, D.C. Councilmember and Chair Pro Tempore Kenyan McDuffie took to the pages of The Washington Post to advocate for taxpayer funding for local political campaigns. Under this system, candidates for Council (and a handful of additional races) who agree to only accept small-dollar contributions and completely forgo donations from PACs would receive $5 […]

Filed Under: Blog, Tax Financed Campaigns Press Release/In the News/Blog, Tax Financed Campaigns State, Tax-Financing, corruption, Kenyan McDuffie, Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle, Washington DC, Arizona, California, Maine, New York, Washington

Roosevelt Institute Study on “Political Money” is Not the Revelation It Claims to Be

A new study on the impact of “money in politics” has been released by the Roosevelt Institute, and sympathetic outlets are already hailing it as a vindication of those who long argued that political spending directly influences policymaking in government. Despite its headline-grabbing claims, however, the study exaggerates the scale of political spending, overestimates its […]

Filed Under: Blog, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Federal, Contribution Limits Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, bribery, corruption, Dodd-Frank, Jie Chen, Paul Jorgensen, Roosevelt Institute, Thomas Ferguson

“Drain the Swamp” and Competing Conceptions of Corruption

Congressman Ken Buck (R-CO) is a founding member of the Freedom Caucus and the latest conservative to come out with a book criticizing the sausage-making in Washington, D.C. In 2013, it was Peter Schweizer with Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets. In 2015, it was Jay Cost’s A […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, corruption, Drain the Swamp, Heritage Foundation, Ken Buck

Ravel’s Support for Ending PACs Exposes Her Long-Term Policy Goals

When Ann Ravel resigned from her post at the Federal Election Commission earlier this year, she made it clear that her activism would continue from outside the agency. To that end, she wrote an op-ed last week in the San Francisco Chronicle advocating for a bill in Congress entitled the “No PAC Act” (H.R. 1743). […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Federal, Contribution Limits Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, Ann Ravel, corruption, Fundraising, No PAC Act, PACs, Political Committees, Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia

Free Speech Under Fire: The Future of the First Amendment

In a set of remarks preceded by Brooklyn Law School President and Joseph Crea Dean Nicholas W. Allard, famed First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams muses on the recent and founding history of First Amendment law. Abrams is a longtime partner at Cahill Gordon & Reindel and was counsel on well-known First Amendment cases like the Pentagon […]

Filed Under: First Amendment, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Antonin Scalia, Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Bill of Rights, Brown v. EMA, corruption, Floyd Abrams, Founding Fathers, Hill v. Colorado, Nicholas W. Allard, Samuel Alito, Stephen Breyer, First Amendment, Jurisprudence & Litigation, First Amendment, Jurisprudence & Litigation

A Landmark Decision Turns Forty: A Conversation on Buckley v. Valeo

In this series of essays by Brooklyn Law School President and Joseph Crea Dean Nicholas W. Allard, U.S. Court of Appeals Senior Judge and former U.S. Senator James L. Buckley, and former ACLU Executive Director Ira Glasser, the authors discuss the landmark Buckley v. Valeo Supreme Court decision after its 40th anniversary. Written as part […]

Filed Under: Contributions & Limits, Disclosure, Expenditure, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, ACLU, Buckley v. Valeo, corporate speech, corruption, eugene mccarthy, FECA, Ira Glasser, James L. Buckley, Nicholas W. Allard, Contribution Limits, Disclosure, Expenditure, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Contributions & Limits, Disclosure, Expenditure, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation

The Academy, Campaign Finance, and Free Speech Under Fire

In this short essay, Center for Competitive Politics Chairman and Co-Founder and Capital University Law School Professor Bradley A. Smith argues that academic efforts to fit campaign finance restrictions within the rubric of the First Amendment have distorted First Amendment doctrine and contributed to a decline in respect for free speech generally. Written as part […]

Filed Under: First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Bradley A. Smith, corruption, Larry Lessig, Richard Hasen, Robert Post, Zephyr Teachout, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation

Maine Activists Embrace Taxpayer Subsidies for Politicians in Ignorance of Systemic Flaws

In Maine, some speech regulatory activists are already celebrating the 2016 election cycle as an important milestone. Not because they are expecting higher voter turnout, more competitive races, or more women or minority candidates running for office. Rather, these activists are giddy that more politicians are taking the hard-earned dollars of Maine taxpayers to run […]

Filed Under: Blog, Tax Financed Campaigns Press Release/In the News/Blog, Tax-Financing, corruption, Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, Maine Clean Election Act, Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, New York

Limiting Access to Lawmakers Would Stifle Representative Democracy

Media commentary about the fine line between political influence and corruption has been plentiful over the past week. Many different writers have expressed discomfort at the notion of donors to a private charity being granted meetings with senior State Department officials. Absent evidence of direct quid pro quo corruption, these writers have argued that providing […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, Access, Buckley v. Valeo, Chief Justice John Roberts, corruption, Influence, Justice Anthony Kennedy, McDonnell v. United States

Melania Trump Controversy Shows the Silliness of Campaign Finance Laws

The controversy over Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention – well, one of them anyway – is a reminder that much of the debate over campaign finance regulation has nothing to do with preventing corruption. An employee of the Trump Organization, Meredith McIver, wrote the speech, leading many in the pro-regulation community to suspect […]

Filed Under: Blog, corporate contributions, corruption, Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Meredith McIver, Republican National Convention