McCain’s non-existent “reform” voters

Karl Rove, former campaign guru for President George W. Bush and a pretty sharp guy, had some astute observations in the Wall Street Journal yesterday about the role of money in the McCain-Obama contest. A few highlights:

 Between [May 31] and Oct. 15, the Obama/DNC juggernaut raised $658.7 million. I estimate… Mr. Obama, the DNC and two other Obama fund-raising vehicles raised an additional $120 million to $140 million in October and November, giving them a total of between $827 million and $847 million in funds for the general election.

Mr. McCain and the RNC spent $550 million in the general election, including the $84 million in public financing…

To read more about McCain’s disastrous decision to take taxpayer funds, click on the headline above

Filed Under: Blog

Testimony of CCP President Sean Parnell to Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission

Written testimony of CCP President Sean Parnell at a December 5, 2008 hearing of the Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission on the topic of “clean elections.”

Filed Under: Blog, External Relations Comments and Testimony, External Relations Sub-Pages, State, State Comments and Testimony, Tax Financed Campaigns Comments, Tax Financed Campaigns State, Tax-Financing, Comments and Testimony, Connecticut

What a difference winning makes…

It’s funny how winning an election with the help of a record amount of campaign cash can cause the winners to reevaluate the role of money in politics. For so long, the constant drumbeat heard from the so-called "reform" community has been that America needs to limit the amount being spent on politics for no apparent reason other than their continuing belief that "money is the root of all evil." But that storyline is hard for the "reformers" to reconcile with this year’s presidential election.

Barack Obama wasn’t, and isn’t, the picture of evil the "reformers" have always painted in their campaign to get money out of politics. Obama was one of them — a community organizer who got involved in the system to bring "change we can believe in" — or at least that’s the narrative that was told on the campaign trail.

But in selling himself and his politics to the voters, Obama raised and spent record amounts of money, and did so after rejecting limits on campaign spending by turning down public financing. In other words, the candidate admired by the "reform" community not only refused to adhere to their principle but flouted it by elevating the campaign finance bar to new heights.

As Arizona legislator Gary Sherman acknowledged in a column less than three weeks after President-elect Obama’s win: "We have come to think of campaign money as inherently corrupting. Now we are faced with a dilemma."

To read more about the "reform" dilemma and their answer, click the headline.

Filed Under: Blog

First Amendment advocacy group submits testimony on Citizens Election Program

The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) submitted a statement to the Connecticut State Election Enforcement Commission in advance of Friday’s hearing on the state’s program of taxpayer-funded political campaigns, officially known as the Citizens Election Program. The testimony by CCP President Sean Parnell features research and analysis weighing the impact of Connecticut’s experience in the 2008 election cycle, the first in which it was implemented.

To read the entire release click the headline above

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

Fairness Doctrine and the Obama Transition

Some left-leaning activists and politicians have openly declared support for reviving the Fairness Doctrine, a draconian speech restriction dismantled over 20 years ago. President-elect Obama has said he does not support reviving the Fairness Doctrine through legislative action. However, Obama’s FCC appointees could use FCC regulations to achieve similar goals of Fairness Doctrine supporters.

David Rittgers posted an extensive background and look-ahead on the Fairness Doctrine at the Cato Institute’s blog and conservative bloggers are debating how Congress and the executive branch might approach the issue. Blogs on the left are muted and split on the Fairness Doctrine. The Internet was used as a powerful communication and organization tool by Obama and Democrats in the election, and there’s not widespread concern among progressive activists that they are voiceless (compared to concerns on the left about talk radio a decade ago).

to read more, click the headline above

Filed Under: Blog

More evidence why “clean elections” won’t work

North Carolina is among the handful of states that have experimented with taxpayer-funded political campaigns, also called "clean elections" by so-called campaign finance "reformers." This past weekend the News & Observer of the Raleigh-Durham area ran an interesting article demonstrating the utter futility of "clean elections" as a way to eliminate or even noticeably reduce the influence of organized interest groups.

From the article:

Organized labor took a risk this year, pouring money and manpower into campaigns in North Carolina, traditionally one of the most anti-union states in the country.

But the gamble appears to be paying off, with labor playing a role in the election of such Democratic allies as U.S. Sen.-elect Kay Hagan, Gov.-elect Beverly Perdue, U.S. Rep.-elect Larry Kissell and helping carry the state for President-elect Barack Obama.

Now union leaders hope to translate success at the polls to victories in the halls of Congress and the state legislature…

A 1959 state law… forbids public bodies from engaging in collective bargaining.

Labor or labor-related groups poured at least $4.7 million into this year’s campaigns for state office in North Carolina — more than double their 2004 spending, according to campaign finance records.

There were at least 1,000 union members on the ground in North Carolina, knocking on doors, manning phone banks and distributing literature at plant gates, according to labor leaders…

To read more about how unions supported their favored candidates without contributing directly to them, click the headline above.

Filed Under: Blog

New communications manager joins CCP!

CCP is pleased today to announce that Jeff Patch has joined us as our new communications manager. Jeff previously worked as a reporter with Politico, press secretary for Iowa Congressman Tom Latham, and a reporter for the Des Moines Register and the Telegraph-Herald in Dubuque, Iowa. You can read CCP’s press release here:  Patch Press Release

Welcome aboard, Jeff!

Filed Under: Blog

Bad ideas are fashionable in the Garden State

Earlier this year, the Center for Competitive Politics helped to educate legislators, the media, and citizens in New Jersey about the failure and danger of taxpayer-funded political campaigns, also known as “clean elections.” Our efforts were largely successful, with Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts pulling the bill in early September.

The “clean elections” program in New Jersey was largely driven by Democrats, with a few Republicans joining to support it. Proving that both parties in New Jersey wear their Bad Idea Jeans proudly, New Jersey Senate Republican Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. is calling for tougher “ethics” legislation that seeks to limit the speech of Garden State residents who speak through so-called “special interest” groups or with the help of wealthy citizens.

To read more, click the headline above

Filed Under: Blog, New Jersey

First Amendment advocacy group adds new communications manager

The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) has hired Jeff Patch as its communications manager. 

For the full press release click the following link: release

Filed Under: Press Releases

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