Philly Mayor: Committee of 70 Rides Again: Declares Support for Knox Re-elect

We’ve taken guilty pleasure in the Philadelphia Mayor’s race, where the City’s new campaign finance law is tying things up in Knox, er, knots.  The law first provided a big lift to wealthy challenger Tom Knox by making it difficult for his opponents to raise money to campaign.  Just when it looked as if Knox would win in a walk, a number of independent "527" committees rode to the rescue.  Free of the city’s ridiculously low contribution limits, the 527s were able to raise the funds needed to keep the campaign going.  Self-styled reformers were unsure of what to do – it was good to have actual competition, of course, but "527" being the sign of the devil, they couldn’t take much pleasure from the development.

Now, with 527s having stalled Knox’s momentum, former Councilman Michael Nutter has risen to the top of the polls, and both and Knox and some 527s – the only organizations with the funds to do so, congressmen Bob Brody and Chaka Fatah being perpetually strapped for cash thanks to the city’s law – have taken aim at Nutter.  Enter the "Committee of 70."  Click the headline for more…

Filed Under: Blog

Roll Call Piece Opposes Grassroots Lobbying Disclosure; cites CCP

An op-ed in Roll Call opposing House efforts to require disclosure of grassroots lobbying cites CCP’s Smith and Hoersting.

Here is an excerpt:

As Stephen Hoersting of the Center for Competitive Politics wrote in National Review in January, "There is no doubt that the danger of retribution by politicians is real. It is not hard to imagine, for example, why one Jim Crow state might have wanted to know the names of all NAACP members in 1950s Alabama, and why the Supreme Court said in response to Alabama’s desire to learn those names that ‘[i]t is hardly a novel perception that compelled disclosure of affiliation with groups engaged in advocacy may constitute as effective a restraint on freedom of association as [other] forms of governmental action.’"

Click here to read the entire article (free link).

Click here to read "MLK, Grassroots Lobbyist," the source of Hoersting’s quote. 

Filed Under: Blog

CCP in the New York Post

CCP Chairman Brad Smith has an op-ed in today’s New York Post about the latest efforts in New York to curtail the First Amendment.

Click HERE to read "Stifling Speech."

Filed Under: Blog

Oprah’s Undue Influence

Oprah has spoken.  As the New York Times reports:

Last week, for the first time, Ms. Winfrey endorsed a political candidate, Senator Barack Obama, Democrat from Illinois. . .

Ms. Winfrey said that she had not made a financial contribution to Mr. Obama’s campaign, but acknowledged that her public endorsement was probably far more valuable. Campaign finance laws would prohibit her from donating more than $2,300 in the primary and $2,300 in the general election.

So what gives?  Where are the "reformers" to rescue us from Oprah’s undue influence on the political process?

Click the headline to read more. 

Filed Under: Blog

CCP Chairman and Academic Advisor on “Marketplace”

CCP Chairman Brad Smith and CCP academic advisor Larry Sabato were featured on yesterday’s "Marketplace."

Click HERE to listen to their appearance and read a transcript of what they said.

Filed Under: Blog

Could have seen it coming…

There’s just no stopping political speech.  As is their American birthright, if people want to speak out on elections they will find a way to do so.  Once again, the Philadelphia mayor’s race is an excellent case study.

Today, the Philadelphia Inquirer highlights the rise in independent expenditures due to the recently enacted contribution limits.

Click HERE to read the story.

Filed Under: Blog

Free Press Supporting Free Speech

Support for Wisconsin Right to Life is growing everyday.  CCP has compiled a collection of editorials and op-eds that side with free speech in WRTL v. FEC

Click the headline to view the impressive list.

Filed Under: Blog

“McCain-Feingold is an Orwellian law “

So says the Press-Register of Mobile, Alabama.

In fact, they say it "should be buried under the First Amendment."

We couldn’t agree more.

The “money quote”:

Nothing could be plainer than the words of the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law" abridging freedom of speech. Yet Congress passed McCain-Feingold, which suppresses speech in an obviously futile effort to diminish the role of money in political campaigns.

Unprecedented sums of money have poured into presidential and congressional campaigns since McCain-Feingold was enacted. The only thing that has changed is that advocacy groups can now have their First Amendment rights taken away by government bureaucrats.

Click HERE to read the editorial.


Filed Under: Blog

Better information or just added ‘meanness’?

That is the question being posed as issue advocacy groups continue to gain attention in the Philadelphia Mayor’s race. Click on the headline to see what all the fuss is about.

Filed Under: Blog

Amicus Brief: NY Board of Elections v. Lopez-Torres

Download Amicus Brief

Filed Under: Completed Amicus Briefs, Legal, Legal Center, amicus brief, lopez, Amicus Briefs, Completed Cases (Amicus), Amicus Briefs, Completed Cases (Amicus)

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