‘A New Hope’ for reformers?

Yoda Wertheimer

A long time ago, in America…

It is a dark time for the Rebellion. Although the Death Star has been destroyed, the Empire has driven the Rebel forces from their base and pursued them across the galaxy.

Sounds like an episode of the Star Wars trilogy, right?

But in this episode, self-styled reformers play the role of the noble Rebel forces while defenders of free political speech are cast as the evil Empire. The Rebels are indeed on the run, as the Supreme Court has repudiated a large swath of their agenda.

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

Did FEC get too much info. on ‘I Want Your Money?’

How else to explain the inexplicable trouble the Federal Election Commission is having with a relatively straightforward request?

Counsel for the producers of the movie “I Want Your Money” (RG Entertainment) and Star Parker, a commentator (and present candidate for Congress) wrote the FEC requesting confirmation that federal campaign law would not restrict the production and distribution of this movie. The movie is a documentary critical of economic policy and includes Parker as well as snippets of a variety of public figures, some of whom happen also to be candidates. Not everyone is treated with a gauzy rose-colored filter, and in fact I understand the movie is pretty critical of the approach taken by the present administration.

Filed Under: Blog

Big Skies Ahead for Free Speech

The Montana First Judicial District Court for Lewis and Clark County ruled yesterday that the Montana ban on corporate expenditures was unconstitutional, citing Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission as authority.  As noted before, whatever arguments might be available to justify restriction on certain enterprises, a comprehensive ban on spending by all corporations is a different animal.

Filed Under: Blog, Montana

CCP’s Allison Hayward on C-Span

CCP’s Vice President of Policy, Allison Hayward, appeared on C-Span yesterday as part of a panal discussion of Citizens United. As is often the case, Allison stood out not only for her excellent comments but also as the lone voice on behalf of full and unfettered First Amendment rights. You can watch the panel here:

Impact of Citizens United v. FEC

Filed Under: Blog

Hayward’s campaign finance two-fer

Get your fix of CCP vice president for policy Allison Hayward today…

Hayward will appear as part of a panel on the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission at 12 p.m. today. The discussion will be aired live on C-SPAN.

Filed Under: Blog

Democrats’ Glass Houses



Filed Under: In the News

The fruits of SpeechNow.org: Independent spenders add to competitive elections

Spending by a SpeechNow group, the Concerned Taxpayers of America, has helped to level the playing field in two congressional races. Yet The Washington Post insinuates that this is somehow a bad thing.

Filed Under: Blog, Maryland, Oregon

Long Battle by Foes of Campaign Finance Rules Shifts Landscape


Filed Under: In the News


A controversy over political billboards in Ohio showcases a crystal clear example of how “reforming” politics by regulating political speech is a farce.

Yesterday, the Ohio Elections Commission agreed to allow a complaint by Rep. Steve Driehaus, a Democrat, against the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life women’s group, to move forward.

A three-member panel of the Commission found probable cause that SBA List violated Ohio’s false statements law by falsely claiming in an ad that Driehaus “voted for taxpayer-funded abortion,” as the Weekly Standard reported. The vote was 2-to-1; a Republican member voted against advancing the complaint while a Democratic member and an independent member voted to throw a mid-October political bomb into the race.

Filed Under: Blog, Current Case, Litigation Blog/Press Releases, SBA List v. Driehaus Other Links, Ohio

New film puts spotlight on gerrymandering

The Center for Competitive Politics is pleased to offer the following guest blog post from Peter Wagner, Executive Director of the Prison Policy Project 

Opening today in theaters around the country is Gerrymandering, a new documentary about how politicians manipulate political boundaries to influence the outcome of elections.  Subtly moving a line to steal an election years later is generally a dense topic, but the film is a political junkie’s dream: educational, politically balanced and downright fun.

Here is a trailer for Gerrymandering

The film’s timing is excellent, because 2010 Census data is about to be released and redistricting will start early next year. For the first time, legislators will be trying to draw their own districts in front of a populace that is being empowered to know why we have districts and why the lines matter.

The bulk of the film is spent explaining gerrymandering, tracing the  re-redistricting inspired by Tom Delay in Texas and a California campaign to take away legislators’ power to determine their own district’s boundaries. Without losing a sense of fun or taking sides, the film helps explain the various tensions — good and bad — that shape the redistricting process.

Filed Under: Blog, Delaware, Iowa, Maryland, New York, Tennessee, Wisconsin

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