Lawmakers seek to preempt election advertising by contractors

Filed Under: In the News

The Arena: Schumer-Van Hollen deserves filibuster

The primary reason we have a First Amendment is that we don’t trust government to regulate political speech in the public interest. The framers understood that if government can regulate political speech, there will be an almost irresistible urge to use such regulation for partisan advantage, and to silence political speakers opposed to the majority.

Both of these problems are on display in the so-called “DISLCOSE Act” (“Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act”—you know a law is trouble when it requires a gimmicky name). DISCLOSE purports to be a “response” to the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC. In that case, the Court reached the thoroughly unremarkable conclusion that the government cannot censor speech merely because it comes from a corporation. It rejected the government’s argument that it could censor books and movies merely because they are published or distributed by corporations, such as Random House, Barnes & Noble, Tri-Star, Cinemark Theaters, or Dog Eat Dog Productions, the company that produced some of Michael Moore’s political films. (The Court did not disturb the prohibition on corporate political contributions to candidates and parties campaign funds).

Democrats have reacted with near hysteria, and the reason seems to be that they believe that corporate political speech tends to support Republicans. Drafted behind closed doors and scheduled for action without committee hearings, “DISCLOSE” is sponsored by Sen. Chuck Schumer, former chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Letters from Republican leaders asking to participate in the process have gone unanswered.

The sponsors have managed to scrape up one GOP co-sponsor out of 218 Republicans in Congress—Delaware Congressman Mike Castle. Twenty other Republicans who voted for “McCain-Feingold” are still in Congress, including Sen. McCain, but none have signed on to the bill…

To read the rest of this post on Politico‘s Arena, follow this link.

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

Supreme Court takes up Wash. case involving disclosure of petition signatures

Filed Under: In the News

Dems move to undercut Citizens United ruling

Filed Under: In the News

Campaign Finance “Reformers,” Gotta Love ‘Em

A “reform” group called ReclaimDemocracy.org is outraged—Outraged! OUTRAGED!!—by the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC, which held that the government cannot prohibit corporate speech—including such seditious activities as producing or distributing books and movies.

ReclaimDemocracy argues that “the Bill of Rights is intended to protect human beings, not their artificial creations.”  It seeks to “Reverse the illegitimate precedent of granting Bill of Rights protections to corporations.”  It proclaims, “the doctrine of granting constitutional rights to corporations gives a thing illegitimate privilege and power that undermines our freedom and authority as citizens.” It seeks to amend the Constitution to explicitly deprive individuals organized in corporations of constitutional protections under the bill of rights.

Oh, by the way: ReclaimDemocracy.org, which repeatedly describes itself merely as an “organization” representing “we the people,” is, in fact, organized as a corporation.

Over to you Emily…

Filed Under: Blog

FEC: Don’t rush SpeechNow

Filed Under: In the News

CCP’s analysis of the DISCLOSE Act

At last, there’s a clear indication that congressional leaders plan to unveil their bill to supposedly increase disclosure in campaign finance after Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Chris Van Hollen have been crafting the bill behind closed doors since February, when they released a framework for action.

In what appears to be a targeted leak from Democratic aides to Roll Call, The Hill and The Washington Post, leadership staffers said they plan to delay the bill’s roll out until next week and provided more details about the provisions.

The bill is to be deemed the DISCLOSE Act, for “Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections.” Cute. Nonetheless, it’s clear that the real intent and purpose of the bill is to harass and intimidate those who might criticize members of Congress into silence during the midterm elections and beyond.

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

Democrats get talking points to sell campaign finance bill

Filed Under: In the News

U.S. Chamber lashes out at Democrats’ campaign-finance restrictions

Filed Under: In the News

GOP files appeal on “soft money”

Filed Under: In the News

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