Five Lessons about Spending in the 2016 Campaign You Might Have Missed

The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) recently released their final tally of spending in the 2016 election cycle. Here are 5 takeaways: Despite hyperbolic predictions, “dark money” was nearly non-existent in 2016. As CCP has long explained, the amount of political spending by nonprofit groups that aren’t required to report the private information of their […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, Money in Politics, Super PACs, 2016 Election Cycle, Center for Responsive Politics, Dark Money, Lowest Union Rate, OpenSecrets, The Media

What would happen if the media talked about itself the way it talks about “dark money” groups?

A shadowy organization based in Washington, D.C., recently spent an undisclosed sum attempting to swing elections in far-off places such as South Dakota and California. Due to a loophole in campaign finance law, this spending does not have to be reported to the Federal Election Commission. That means the public will never know who is […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Dark Money, federal election commission, The Washington Post, California, Maryland, Missouri, South Dakota, Washington

Donor Privacy Frees Groups to Criticize Government

MapLight, an organization that advocates for tax-financed campaigns and stricter disclosure laws, published an analysis of presidential primary ads last week that inadvertently bolsters the case for donor privacy. Amusingly, the folks at MapLight appear to be unaware of this irony. MapLight reported that in the 2016 presidential primaries – in 23 media markets spanning […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Money in Politics, Super PACs, 2016 Presidential Primary, attack ads, Dark Money, Donald Trump, MapLight, Marco Rubio, Florida

Freedom and Equality vs. Cliches in the Fresno Bee

There’s a remarkably silly op-ed column in The Fresno Bee this week. Unfortunately, it’s typical of hundreds of editorials published around the country every year. This one is by a professor of political science at Fresno State University named Thomas Holyoke, who has written a book called “The Ethical Lobbyist.” It’s probably unfair to rip […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Media Watch, americans for prosperity, Common Sense, Dark Money, Federalist Papers, Fresno Bee, Fresno State, Thomas Holyoke

Compulsory Donor Disclosure: When Government Monitors Its Citizens

In this Heritage Foundation Legal Memorandum by CCP Chairman Bradley A. Smith, Research Fellow Scott Blackburn, and Policy Analyst Luke Wachob, the authors explain how political speech in America is subject to an ever expanding disclosure regime as more and more private information – including citizens’ names, home addresses, employers, and occupations, as well as […]

Filed Under: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Disclosure, Disclosure, Faulty Assumptions, Featured Content, First Amendment, Independent Speech, IRS and the Tea Party, Research, Dark Money, Heritage Foundation, Private Giving, Disclosure, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Disclosure, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Independent Speech, California, Montana, New York, Wisconsin

The Victims of “Dark Money” Disclosure: How Government Reporting Requirements Suppress Speech and Limit Charitable Giving

In this Goldwater Institute Policy Report, author Jon Riches highlights the coordinated attack on private political speech under the banner of “dark money” and its dangerous effect on nonprofit organizations. As the report explains, anonymous political speech has been essential to democratic discourse since the founding of our republic. Indeed, ratification of the U.S. Constitution […]

Filed Under: Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Handouts, First Amendment, Issue Advocacy, 501(c)(3)s, Dark Money, Goldwater Institute, Research (Disclosure), Disclosure, First Amendment, Issue Advocacy, Disclosure, First Amendment, Issue Advocacy, Arizona, California, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Wisconsin

In the dark about “dark money”

A short while back, on Professor Rick Hasen’s invaluable listserv, there was a spirited discussion about the meaning of “dark money” as used in political debate. On the one side were those arguing that “dark money” was an almost infinitely malleable term used to obscure serious issues and deter meaningful debate, and on the other […]

Filed Under: Blog, Brennan Center, Center for Media and Democracy, Center for Responsive Politics, Dark Money, David keating, Politico, Rick Hasen, Tarini Parti, Wisconsin Supreme Court

Five Misconceptions about “Dark Money”

“Dark money” is a pejorative term for spending on ads urging the election or defeat of candidates by nonprofit groups – typically 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations, 501(c)(5) labor unions, and 501(c)(6) trade associations – that do not report the names and addresses of their individual donors to the government, unless donations are earmarked to fund […]

Filed Under: Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Federal, Disclosure Handouts, External Relations Sub-Pages, Independent Speech, Issues, Money in Politics, Research, Dark Money, Disclosure, Handouts (Disclosure), Research (Disclosure), Disclosure, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Disclosure, First Amendment, Independent Speech

New York Times Predicts Quick End to Supreme Court (and Once Again Misstates Campaign Finance Law)

The New York Times, in the style that pretty much typifies all of the Times’ editorials on campaign finance, today (mis)informs us that the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission was “fatally misguided.” Fatally? Well, the case is over 5 years old, and no member of the majority has died yet, nor has […]

Filed Under: Blog, campaign finance reform, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Dark Money, New York Times

In Defense of Private Civic Engagement: Why the Assault on “Dark Money” Threatens Free Speech and How to Stop the Assault

In this Heartland Institute Policy Study, author Nick Dranias explains that the right to private civic engagement — the right to participate in politics confidentially as an individual or in association with others — is under assault as the product of “dark money.” However, Dranias notes that this attack on “dark money” is really an […]

Filed Under: Disclosure, Disclosure, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Money in Politics, Research, Dark Money, Free Speech Privacy Act, Nick Dranias, Publius Confidentiality Act, Research (Disclosure), Disclosure, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Disclosure, First Amendment, Independent Speech