Unhappy With Polls

 

Filed Under: In the News

Campaign finance polls lack context and clarity

A poll by The Washington Post and ABC News released today is the latest to examine the public’s impression of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

Three polls-including the Washington Post-ABC News joint effort-purport to show that Americans widely disagree with the Court’s ruling and support legislative fixes to water down the January decision.

So, it’s panic time in the free political speech movement, right? Wrong.

Click below the fold to read four reasons why…

Filed Under: Press Releases

CCP’s Hoersting discusses post-Citizens United proposals

Center for Competitive Politics vice president Steve Hoersting appeared on CNBC yesterday to discuss the post-Citizens United legislative proposals with Common Cause’s Bob Edgar. The segment is below:

Filed Under: Blog

Reaction to the congressional proposals to thwart Citizens United v. FEC

Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Chris Van Hollen announced a legislative framework for post-Citizens United legislation in a press conference call Thursday. The Center for Competitive Politics press release on the development is here:

“The First Amendment should not be plowed over because of an inconvenient political storm,” said Bradley A. Smith, CCP’s chairman and a former FEC chairman. “This is a cynical attempt to brush aside constitutional concerns because of a short-term perception of partisan gain.”

CCP raised several policy and constitutional questions with the bill’s announced provisions on “foreign” involvement, disclosure and government contractor restrictions.

Another organization—the Organization for International Investment, which represents U.S. subsidiaries—released a critical statement:

“We can all agree that foreigners should not be allowed to influence our political system—and we support further improving upon law that would restrict them from doing so. But creating a law that redefines the U.S. subsidiaries of companies based abroad that have insourced more than five million American jobs as a foreign company, simply does not make sense in today’s global economy,” said Nancy McLernon, President & CEO of the Organization for International Investment (OFII). “If policymakers start automatically equating “insourcing” companies with being foreign in other areas of law, it will have a substantial impact on the ability for these firms to do business, create American jobs and increase investment in the U.S.”

Under current law, election spending by foreign nationals—including foreign governments, corporations, and individuals—is already prohibited by the Federal Election Campaign Act. That prohibition is unaffected by the ruling in Citizens United. The Federal Election Campaign Act prohibits U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies from using funds from their foreign parent company for election-related spending. Additionally, foreign nationals, whether at the U.S. subsidiaries or at the international parents, may not participate in decisions about political expenditures in the United States.

The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones, Financial Times, CNN, CBS News, Politico, The Hill (and here), Roll Call/CQ, Bloomberg, National Journal, Hotline and The Washington Independent all have reports on the Schumer-Van Hollen proposals.

Filed Under: Blog

Citizens United proposals a cynical attempt to corrode First Amendment

Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Chris Van Hollen released a framework of proposals Thursday for legislation they intend to file after the Presidents Day recess. The quarter-baked policy plan poses constitutional concerns and several provisions seem to directly contradict the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

“The First Amendment should not be plowed over because of an inconvenient political storm,” said Bradley A. Smith, CCP’s chairman and a former FEC chairman. “This is a cynical attempt to brush aside constitutional concerns because of a short-term perception of partisan gain.”

Filed Under: Press Releases

Justice Thomas Comments on Ben Tillman, the Forgotten Founding Father of Campaign Finance Reform

Earlier this week, Justice Clarence Thomas, speaking at Stetson Law School in Florida, defended the Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC, which struck down the Tillman Act, banning corporate spending in political campaigns, on First Amendment grounds.  Said Thomas:

“Go back and read why Tillman introduced that legislation. Tillman was from South Carolina, and as I hear the story he was concerned that the corporations, Republican corporations, were favorable toward blacks and he felt that there was a need to regulate them.”

That made us decide it might be a timely moment to recirculate our post from 2006 on “Ben Tillman, Forgotten Founding Father of Reform.”  Read about the despicable Tillman below the fold.

Filed Under: Blog

Smith on Citizens United in SCOTUSblog

SCOTUSblog invited CCP Chairman Brad Smith to comment on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. His piece, “Citizens United, Shareholder Rights, and Free Speech: Restoring the Primacy of Politics to the First Amendment,” is split into two parts.

Part I addresses the Court’s jurisprudence in Citizens United, and responds to Professor Laurence Tribe’s SCOTUSblog commentary critiquing the Court’s ruling.

Part II details concerns about congressional regulations proposed after Citizens United on shareholder governance of corporate political expenditures and restrictions on domestic subsidiaries of foreign companies.

Filed Under: Blog

CCP witnesses engage Senators on campaign finance options

Center for Competitive Politics vice president Steve Hoersting and CCP board member Allison Hayward, a professor of law at George Mason University, testified Tuesday morning before the Senate Rules & Administration Committee.

A webcast of the hearing is available at the committee’s website:

hoersting-rulescommittee

Hoersting focused his testimony on some of the policy options Congress could consider that are likely to pass constitutional muster, such as freeing the party committees and candidates from the remaining statutory burdens of McCain-Feingold. Doing so would shift more money from the unregulated independent groups into candidates and parties. Hoersting’s prepared remarks are here.

Filed Under: Blog

CCP officials to testify at House panels Wednesday

Center for Competitive Politics officials will testify at two House hearings Wednesday examining the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

CCP president Sean Parnell will testify at Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee (Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties) hearing. CCP board member Allison Hayward, a professor of law at George Mason University, will testify at Wednesday’s House Administration Committee hearing. Hayward and CCP vice president and co-founder Steve Hoersting testified at Tuesday’s Senate Rules Committee hearing.

Filed Under: Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance Federal, Corporate Governance Press Release/In the News/Blog, External Relations Press Releases, External Relations Sub-Pages, Press Releases

Citizens United, Shareholder Rights, and Free Speech: Restoring the Primacy of Politics to the First Amendment, Part II

Filed Under: In the News

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