Wall Street Journal gets it right

Here at CCP, we’ve been pointing out that Hillary Clinton is correct in asserting that lobbyists represent real people and real Americans.  Today, the Wall Street Journal editorial page weighs in. Click the headline to see what they have to say.

Filed Under: Blog

And then there was one

Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani made a significant, but largely overlooked, pronouncement this week in regard to "McCain-Feingold." Namely, he no longer supports it.

According the the New York Sun:  

"I supported McCain-Feingold.  The concept made sense to me," Mr. Giuliani began, in a response his campaign sent to the press yesterday. But then he added: "Now that I see it play out in a couple of elections, I think it was a mistake. We should get much closer to being able to allow people to — to realize their rights of free speech in the way in which they get involved in campaigns, make contributions to campaigns."

The New York Sun also notes that McCain is now the only remaining major Republican candidate to not admit the errors of "McCain-Feingold."  CCP would like to remind Senator McCain of the famous words of John Maynard Keynes who said, "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do sir?"

In this case, it’s not so much the facts that have changed (some recognized BCRA’s shortcomings from the beginning) as it is some candidates’ understanding of the law’s effects that has changed.  Nevertheless, it’s not too late for Senator McCain to "evolve on the issue."


Filed Under: Blog

Lobbyist Influence at the Democratic Forum

The irony last night at the Democratic forum on LGBT issues was so thick you could have cut it with a knife. 

For the past week or so, some Democratic candidates have being making an issue out of the so-called "undue influence" of federal lobbyists by highlighting the fact that their campaigns do not accept contributions from lobbyists.  Hillary Clinton has defended the role of lobbyists saying that they represent real issues and real Americans.

No where was Clinton’s point more obvious than during last night’s LGBT democratic forum on the Viacom-owned LOGO channel.  The forum was co-sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), "America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender equality," and the LOGO channel. The format of the forum consisted of approximately 20 minutes long question and answer sessions between an individual candidate and a table of panelists which included singer Melissa Etheridge and HRC president Joe Solmonese.

What’s all this have to do with the "undue influence" of lobbyists? Turns out that Joe Solmonese is (drumroll please) a registered lobbyist.  Interestingly, none of the candidates told Mr. Solmonese that the issues he lobbies for don’t deserve representation.

Filed Under: Blog

Obama and the lobbyists

Lately, presidential candidate Barack Obama has been reminding voters that his campaign does not accept donations from federal lobbyists or political action committees, "casting his decison as a noble departure from the ways of Washington."

Today, though, the Boston Globe reports that "behind Obama’s campaign rhetoric about taking on special interests lies a more complicated truth. A Globe review of Obama’s campaign finance records shows that he collected hundreds of thousands of dollars from lobbyists and PACs as a state legislator in Illinois, a US senator, and a presidential aspirant."

Click the headline to find out more.

Filed Under: Blog

San Francisco Chronicle must really not like ‘527’ organizations

San Francisco Chronicle reporter Lance Williams evidently doesn’t care much for independent ‘527’ organizations.

Click the headline to find a point by point correction of the article.

(And for more examples on why people don’t understand campaign finance laws click HERE and HERE.)

Update: The Chronicle’s struggle to accurately explain things to its readers is also seen in this column by Carla Marinucci.  More below the fold.

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog

Fifth Amendment good, First Amendment bad

On Monday, Senator John McCain delivered an impassioned speech in Iowa railing against eminent domain abuse.  Senator McCain went so far as to say that John "Adams would be shocked to learn what both the United States Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Connecticut did to Susette Kelo."

Such posturing evidently did not sit well with the New York Sun editorial board.  On Tuesday, the New York Sun took Senator McCain to task for his paradoxical support of only part of the Bill of Rights.  Click the headline to see read more.

Filed Under: Blog

ActBlue and CCP

Today, the Boston Globe ran a story detailing the innovative work of ActBlue, an non-connected political committee that helps Democratic candidates raise money by serving as a conduit for earmarked contributions made through ActBlue’s website

But one innovation by ActBlue almost didn’t happen. Click the headline to read more.

Filed Under: Blog

“Lobbyists represent real Americans”

Saturday, at the YearlyKos Convention, Senator Hillary Clinton rightly defended the role of lobbyists, while her two leading rivals, hoping for political gain, criticized her position.

Click the headline for CCP’s analysis of the debate.

Filed Under: Blog

Will they be disqualified?

Under Arizona law, the penalty for a candidate participating in the government-financing system who overshoots the spending limits by more than 10 percent is removal from office.  That’s exactly what happened to David Burnell Smith in 2005.  Smith overspent the limit by $6,000 during his campaign and was subsequently expelled from office by a 5-0 vote of the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission.

Yesterday, we told you about the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission underreporting their own annual spending by $2 million – about a 15 percent error.  What’s good for the goose is good for the gander…

Filed Under: Blog

“Voter-Owned” Elections Pilot Won’t Fly

Press release on North Carolina’s government-financed elections pilot project

Filed Under: External Relations Sub-Pages, Press Releases, Tax Financed Campaigns Press Release/In the News/Blog, Tax Financed Campaigns Research, Tax-Financing

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