Farewell to Three Commissioners

On Monday night, the recess appointments of three FEC Commissioners will expire, and they will become private citizens once more.  Quite a bit has been said about the "shutting down" of the FEC (oh that it were really so – see my commentary here), but very little has been said about the three commissioners who are being unceremoniously evicted, as it were, the victims of partisan and petty politics over which they have no control.

I do not know Commissioner Steve Walther; outgoing Chairman Bob Lenhard I know only slightly;  outgoing Commissioner Hans Von Spakovsky, my successor at the FEC, I have come to know a bit better.  The three deserve congratulations for a job well done under difficult circumstances.  Click the headline to read more.

Filed Under: Blog

“Shutting Down” the FEC

A front page headline in today’s Washington Post laments the “fact” that, “As primaries begin, the FEC will shut down.”  If so, maybe the country would learn something.  Click the headline to this post to see what an FEC shutdown might really mean.

Filed Under: Blog

Trying to use taxpayer money to buy “egalitarian policies”

Last Friday, Newsday ran an op-ed titled "For egalitarian policies, publicly fund campaigns."  The title basically says it all. 

The piece painfully tries to argue that Americans "feel their interests are neglected by the current ‘rigged’ funding system."  If only elections were financed by the government, the author argues, then "egalitarian politics could make a comeback."

Supporters of such a premise flatly reject the principle that we are a nation of diverse ideas and ideology, preferring instead to argue that elected officials are "bought off" by so-called "special interests" that represent values and ideals fundamentally contrary to those of the average American.

Such a mentality is naïve at best, and at worst purposely misleading. Click the headline for more.

Filed Under: Blog

Testifying on NJ’s “Clean Elections” Experiment

Center for Competitive Politics president Sean Parnell will testify to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission this morning at 11:00 AM concerning New Jersey’s "Clean Elections Pilot Project."

The Commission is gathering public input as it prepares a report for the New Jersey legislature on the pilot project. 

Click the headline for more.

Filed Under: Blog

FEC rejects Draft A of ActBlue’s AOR 2007-27

The FEC voted against adopting Draft A of AOR 2007-27 and voted to adopt Draft B.

The FEC ruled that ActBlue, an organization that makes it easier for citizens to contribute to political campaigns, may coordinate with the "Separate Segregated Funds" (SSF) of corporations, labor unions, and other membership organizations to solicit contributions from within the SSF’s "restricted class." 

ActBlue had also requested permission to independently solicit the general public for earmarked contributions to SSFs from outside the "restricted class."  The FEC ruled that request was "not permissible."  

Click the headline for more.

Filed Under: Blog

Mixed FEC Decision on Request to Ease Fundraising Restrictions on Union and Corporate PACs

 Alexandria, VA. –  The Federal Election Commission (FEC) issued an advisory opinion today that eases some restrictions, but keeps intact other restrictions, on the ability of union and corporate political action committees (PACs) to raise money.

The FEC ruled that ActBlue, an organization that makes it easier for citizens to contribute to political campaigns, may coordinate with the "Separate Segregated Funds" (SSF) of corporations, labor unions, and other membership organizations to solicit contributions from within the SSF’s "restricted class." 

ActBlue had also requested permission to independently solicit the general public for earmarked contributions to SSFs from outside the "restricted class."  The FEC ruled that request was "not permissible."  

Filed Under: External Relations Press Releases, External Relations Sub-Pages, Press Releases

Grassroots speakers aren’t racketeers

During the last several months, several corporations have started fighting back against pro-labor forces that have been waging withering "corporate campaigns" against them.   In their crosshairs are labor union supported grassroots websites – like Justice at Smithfield, EyeOnWackenhut.com, and WakeUpWalmart.com – who cast corporations in a bad light by alleging employee mistreatment and other corporate malfeasance.  Through posts on the web, public protests outside of a corporation’s headquarters, and other media-conscious efforts, these websites try to shower a targeted corporation with bad publicity until it has no choice but to adopt a pro-union stance.

Click the headline for more.

Filed Under: Blog

SpeechNow.org Responds to Comments Before FEC

Lawyers for two groups that back greater regulation of speech about elections filed public comments with the Federal Election Commission yesterday opposing an Advisory Opinion Request from SpeechNow.org.  The independent speech group with an innovative new charter is seeking confirmation that it can advocate for or against candidates without being forced to become a political committee and limit its donations and speech under federal law.

"Americans should be able to speak freely with their fellow Americans about anything, including who should be elected to office," said David Keating, president of SpeechNow.org.  "It is remarkable that these groups are asking the FEC to oppose free speech by groups of individuals speaking independently of candidates, parties, corporations and unions."

Click the headline for more.

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

No Welfare for Politicians

Supporters of strict campaign finance and speech restrictions recently announced their plan to revive the government subsidy program for presidential elections.

Today, CCP chairman Bradley Smith weighed in with an op-ed published in USA Today.  The column outlines some of the basic arguments against taxpayer financing.

Click the headline for more.

Filed Under: Blog

An Acid Test for Campain Finance Reform

Redstate has published a blog post by CCP chairman Brad Smith on SpeechNow.org that begins "Do Americans have the right to band together and work to elect or defeat political candidates? I think so, and this is, indeed, the Acid Test for campaign finance ‘reform’ and free speech…"

Click HERE to read the whole post.

Filed Under: Blog

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