CCP opposes FCC regulation of political ads

The Center for Competitive Politics came out today against a proposal by a telecommunications lobbying group to force onerous disclaimers for political ads.

The petition for a Federal Communications Commission rulemaking by the Media Access Project asks the FCC to rewrite longstanding regulations to force an unworkable disclosure standard on citizen groups.

“Supporters of broad campaign finance regulation in Congress failed to pass the DISCLOSE Act, the pro-regulation bloc at the FEC failed to impose a broad rulemaking to add disclosure regulations and now groups are seeking to impose these standards through the backdoor at the FCC,” said CCP President Sean Parnell.

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

Las Vegas Review-Journal takes on allegations against Scalia, Thomas

Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Thomas Mitchell has a great column today breaking down the absurdity of allegations against Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Thomas, particularly the demands by some that they recuse themselves retroactively from Citizens United. Some exerpts:

U.S. Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia are being accused of having a conflict of interest for, of all things, associating with known conservatives.

Thomas and Scalia have been criticized for speaking to like-minded conservative groups in general, and Thomas specifically for failing to report on his financial disclosure forms for five years the $680,000 the conservative Heritage Foundation paid his wife, Virginia.

According to a report by Politico’s Kenneth Vogel, “… liberal groups have called on the Justice Department to investigate whether the two justices’ alleged conflicts of interest should have disqualified them from voting in the 2010 decision on political spending, Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission.”

Common Cause has written a letter to the attorney general asking that Thomas and Scalia be retroactively recused from Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission…

It turns out, unbeknownst to those outside of the Washington, D.C., television viewing area, Citizens United ran $100,000 worth of television ads in 1991 in D.C. supporting the Senate’s confirmation of one Clarence Thomas.

Ipso facto, Thomas should’ve recused himself from ruling in the Citizens United case because he had a conflict of interest, his critics contend. To support the presumption of bias, a group calling itself Protect Our Elections is citing the Caperton v. Massey Coal decision, in which the high court said a West Virginia judge should have recused himself in a case involving a coal company that had been supportive of his election…

Neither Thomas nor Scalia have a financial conflict in these matters. They will be neither richer nor poorer no matter how they rule. They merely have a system of core values with which liberals take umbrage.

There’s no word yet on whether Common Cause will demand that Justice Sotomayor recuse herself in the future from any rulings that the Alliance for Justice, People for the American Way, and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights are involved in (these three groups ran ads supporting her nomination to the Supreme Court).

I highly recommend reading the whole column.

Filed Under: Blog, Nevada

Supreme Court Declines to Consider Challenge to Campaign Finance Restrictions

Filed Under: In the News

Testimony of CCP President Sean Parnell to the Maryland Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee

Written testimony of CCP President Sean Parnell at a March 16, 2011 hearing of the Maryland Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee on the topic of SB 592, concerning the disclosure of independent expenditures.

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Comments, Disclosure State, External Relations Comments and Testimony, External Relations Sub-Pages, State, State Comments and Testimony, Comments and Testimony, Maryland

ACLU sues to protect anonymous political speech in Maine

Given that the United States has a First Amendment, one might think that Maine’s government would not crush dissidents for speaking out against politicians during an election. Sadly, this is not the case, and the Maine Civil Liberties Union filed suit to stop the State’s speech suppression.

In the Pine Tree State, a gubernatorial candidate brought a dissident blog to heel for anonymously criticizing him. The candidate, Eliot Cutler, hauled the creators of the anti-Cutler blog “Cutler Files,” in front of the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices. The blog cost exactly $91.38 to produce and maintain. The Commission fined the bloggers for anonymously speaking out against Cutler.

Filed Under: Blog, Maine

Xanadu director takes on campaign finance

From the director who brought you “Xanadu” comes another unintentional howler about Charles and David Koch.

Robert Greenwald, founder of Brave New Films and director of the 1980s feature film “Xanadu”, released a video on YouTube earlier this week promoting his new documentary, “The Koch Brothers: EXPOSED.”

It’s basically a rehashing of the typical criticisms of the Kochtopus—the brothers fund climate change “deniers,” donate millions to the Tea Party as well as non-profits and political candidates that share their limited-government views, and are just generally buying American democracy left and right.

A lot has already been said about the Koch brothers and their right to support the causes and candidates of their choice. The thing that seems to be lacking in this whole debate, and the demonization of the Kochs by the “reform” crowd in general, is the simple consideration that there’s nothing intrinsically wrong about speech that comes from wealthy people.

Filed Under: Blog

SEC Investment Advisor Contribution Rule Effective Today

Filed Under: In the News

Citizens United decision a big win for free speech

Filed Under: In the News

In the News: Daily Caller: Why Buddy Roemer’s campaign finance pledge makes no sense

Why Buddy Roemer’s campaign finance pledge makes no sense By Jeff Patch The 2012 battle for the GOP presidential nomination is heating up, and underdog candidates are grabbing the spotlight as marquee candidates continue to play coy about their political intentions. Harvard University professor and campaign finance activist Lawrence Lessig is on a tear boosting […]

Filed Under: In the News, Published Articles

Why Buddy Roemer’s campaign finance pledge makes no sense

The 2012 battle for the GOP presidential nomination is heating up, and underdog candidates are grabbing the spotlight as marquee candidates continue to play coy about their political intentions.

Harvard University professor and campaign finance activist Lawrence Lessig is on a tear boosting long-shot GOP presidential hopeful Buddy Roemer for the candidate’s quixotic campaign finance pledge.

Lessig, who runs a pro-regulation group that pushes for tax financing of congressional campaigns, is praising the Reagan Democrat because of Roemer’s pledge to only accept individual contributions to his presidential campaign of $100 or less. Roemer has also pledged to report every donation, even though federal law only requires reporting donations of $200 or more.

“As much as I hoped, I never realized he was this good,” Lessig gushed Tuesday after Roemer tested out his stump speech Monday at a multi-candidate forum hosted by the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition, an influential conservative group.

“Electability should not be discussed in terms of who can raise the most money, but rather who has the best ideas to raise America,” said Roemer, who supported strict campaign finance regulations as governor. “Today, I declare my independence from moneyed special interests.”

Roemer, a former Louisiana governor and congressman, is free to run his campaign any way he likes. There’s no doubt his pledge will be popular among many in the press and left-leaning interest groups. But is the federal campaign finance system really so corrupt?

Read the whole thing at The Daily Caller.

Filed Under: Blog

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