String Him Up

Filed Under: In the News

Bundlers raise millions for Capitol Hill

Filed Under: In the News

Oil, that is. Black Gold. Texas tea!

On television’s The Beverly Hillbillies, Jed Clampett and brood moved to Beverly Hills from the Ozarks after striking oil. Ironically, real-world Jeds and Elly Mays live in Beverly Hills today—and they’re not pleased with Measure O, a city ballot measure that would impose oil severance taxes on the oil fields… of Beverly Hills.

Apparently, Beverly Hills sits above an oil field. How appropriate.

Anyhow, one can imagine that people feel strongly, and might even seek to communicate with voters! Which they are technically welcome to do—subject to an astonishing disclaimer ordinance also recently adopted by the City of Beverly Hills.

The text is reproduced below [emphasis added]. Try to come up with some reasonable justification for this laundry list of requirements—one that doesn’t include suppression of speech (and passes a laugh test):


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

Judge rules for chamber in battle with Scottsdale over ads

Filed Under: In the News

Meg Whitman’s outrageous campaign spending: I’m not that easy!

It seemed to be a big story today that Meg Whitman spent $178 million in her race for California governor last fall. This was presented as somewhat shocking news about the excesses of campaign spending. Now, California’s voting eligible population is approximately 22,150,000.  That means Meg spent about $8 per eligible voter.  Am I the only person a bit insulted that people would think $8 is a lot of money to spend to try to get my vote?

Filed Under: Blog

LAT highlights hypocrisy of Koch-haters

From an editorial in the Los Angeles Times, “Rich guys have rights too; Those protesting the Koch brothers appear unclear on the concept of democracy“:

A decidedly odd protest took place over the weekend in Rancho Mirage, where hundreds of environmentalists, union members and other liberal activists descended on a resort to demonstrate not against pollution or poor working conditions or government policies, but a pair of billionaires. The point of the rally was to decry the corrosive impact of money on American governance, but we’re not sure that the marchers were quite clear on the concepts of democracy and free speech.

Inside the Rancho Las Palmas resort, Charles and David Koch, who have given millions of dollars to boost conservative political causes, were holding a retreat for conservative elected officials and donors. Many on the left see the Koch brothers as the center of a vast right-wing conspiracy to tailor government policy to suit their business interests. It’s remarkable how similar this sounds to the theories of Fox News commentator Glenn Beck, who favors drawing up elaborate blackboard presentations on the web of progressive organizations funded by billionaire George Soros that he believes are destroying America…

Activists on Sunday were angry at the Koch brothers for spending $1 million on a failed campaign to overturn California’s law to curb greenhouse gases, but they didn’t seem bothered about the millions spent on the other side by California venture capitalists with investments in clean-energy startups. If you’re going to raise a fuss about political spending, it would be more honest to cast a spotlight on it even when the money comes from people you agree with. What’s more, campaign donations from individuals—rich as well as poor—are a critical component of political expression, and thus of free speech. [emphasis added]

Read the whole thing here.

Filed Under: Blog, California

Adventures in New Republic hackery

Jonathan Chait, a Senior Editor at The New Republic, seized on a quote in the New York Times by CCP Chairman Brad Smith discussing the hoopla surrounding a California conference hosted by the owners of Koch Industries, Inc. Chait snidely distorted Smith’s words from the Times…

Filed Under: Blog, California

The Failure of Mandated Disclosure

In this article, Omri Ben-Shahar and Carl E. Schneider examine a variety of disclosure mandates to assess the overall utility of disclosure. As disclosure requirements can be found in a variety of areas, from campaign finance, insurance, and telecommunications to sales of goods and services, leases, and contracts, the authors were able to scrutinize the utility of this mandate from a multitude of views. Throughout this article, Ben-Shahar and Schneider document the failure of mandated disclosure to both inform people and improve their decisions. Because the incentives behind disclosure encourage excess, the authors note that disclosure is often extensive and overly broad, perversely misinforming those it intends to help. In this vein, the authors believe that mandated disclosure fails to achieve its goals and recommends that disclosure requirements be kept short, in order to better aid those seeking information. To this point, the authors’ comprehensive study is instructive in the campaign finance arena and calls into question the mantra many repeat that more disclosure is inherently better.

Filed Under: Disclosure, Disclosure, Research, Disclosure, Faulty Assumptions, Disclosure, Faulty Assumptions

Opposing view on elections: No entitlement for candidates

Filed Under: In the News

Show trials? Schultz, Sharpton propose FCC review board, public hearings to keep radio talkers in line

Filed Under: In the News

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