CCP Scholars Dispute Assertions That Contribution Limits Cannot Damage Competition if Set Too Low

“CCP Scholars Dispute Assertions That Contribution Limits Cannot Damage Competition if Set Too Low”

PRESS RELEASE: June 15, 2006

Media Contact:

Professor Jeffrey Milyo, (573) 882-7785

Professor David Primo, (585) 273-4779

Arlington, Va. – Today Center for Competitive Politics academic advisors Jeffrey Milyo and David Primo addressed in Roll Call the disconnect between scholarly research and conventional wisdom about campaign finance reform. “The High Court, Hoodwinked on Finance Data,” Roll Call, June 15, 2006. “We are aware of no scholarly studies that yield consistent evidence of large and statistically significant effects of campaign finance regulations on electoral competitiveness. [And] we did not estimate the effect of states setting very low contribution limits, as is the case in Vermont,” they said. Milyo and Primo were responding to Deborah Goldberg’s use of research they conducted with Political Science Professor Timothy Groseclose of UCLA to argue that the Supreme Court need not be concerned about low limits on contributions in deciding the constitutionality of Vermont’s $400, $300, and $200 contribution limits in Randall v. Sorrell, a case currently under review.

“We want be clear that our findings do not suggest that contribution limits cannot have deleterious effects on competition if set too low,” said Milyo and Primo.

The Center for Competitive Politics is a non-profit organization founded in 2005 by Bradley A. Smith, a former Federal Election Commissioner and professor of law at Capital University Law School, and Stephen M. Hoersting, a campaign finance attorney and former General Counsel to the National Republican Senatorial Committee. CCP’s mission, through legal briefs, studies, historical and constitutional analyses, and media communication, is to educate the public on the actual effects of money in politics, and the results of a more free and competitive electoral process.

The editorial of Professors Primo and Milyo can be found at (subscription required).

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.