Center for Competitive Politics Releases Public Perception & the “Appearance of Corruption” in Campaign Finance Report


Contact: Sarah Lee, Communications Director

The Center for Competitive Politics


ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The American people believe political contributions should be disclosed, but don’t actually use the information themselves; they dislike seeing tax dollars used to fund campaigns; and they think that the current $2,500 federal limit on individual campaign contributions could be quadrupled without increasing government corruption.  

These were among the findings of a poll of over 55,000 Americans surveyed as part of the 2010 Cooperative Congressional Election Study, and reviewed in Public Perception & the “Appearance of Corruption” in Campaign Finance, released today by the Center for Competitive Politics.


Filed Under: Disclosure, External Relations Press Releases, External Relations Sub-Pages, Press Releases

CCP Presents Testimony at the Request of Colorado Secretary of State

CONTACT: Sarah Lee, Communications Director, CCP, 770.598.7961

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Testifying before a rulemaking hearing for the Colorado Secretary of State yesterday, Center for Competitive Politics Legal Director Allen Dickerson stated that Secretary of State Scott Gessler and his staff should be applauded for making it clear that independent expenditure committees are not subject to contribution limits, something the rulemaking is attempting to address.

Said Dickerson, “this is settled constitutional law. v. FEC made this clear at the federal level. And while a D.C. Circuit opinion, it has been widely followed, and a challenge to limits in the 10th Circuit would very likely be successful. This office should be applauded for not drawing senseless and expensive litigation that would put Colorado on the wrong side of citizens’ rights of speech and association.”


Filed Under: Blog, External Relations Comments and Testimony, External Relations Press Releases, External Relations Sub-Pages, Press Releases, State, State Comments and Testimony, State Press Releases and Blogs

Indiana Phone Lines Remain Open

Contact: Sarah Lee, Communications Director

The Center for Competitive Politics


ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The Center for Competitive Politics spent a year in Indiana litigating a case on behalf of a non-profit group called Patriotic Veterans, Inc., an organization interested in securing their right to make political robocalls in the interest of free speech. In September of this year, a federal court issued an injunction preventing enforcement of a state law that bans prerecorded political telephone calls. This week, U.S. Judge William Lawrence in Indianapolis denied the state’s request for a stay of its order during the appeal – that is, it denies the state’s request that it be allowed to ignore the district court judge’s decision and keep enforcing the law during the duration of its appeal – keeping phone lines open for political campaigns at least through the New Year.


Filed Under: External Relations Press Releases, External Relations Sub-Pages, Press Releases, State, State Press Releases and Blogs

CCP Academic Advisor David Primo in Forbes


CCP Academic advisor Professor David Primo published an op-ed in Forbes earlier this week entitled “It’s Time To Bring Some Sanity To Campaign Finance Laws”.  In the article, Professor Primo challenges the notion that disclosure adds information relevant for voters to make up their minds about issues:

I put this “informational interest” to the test in a recent experiment with more than 1,000 registered voters in Florida.  Participants were randomly assigned to three groups: one received only the text of a hypothetical ballot issue, while the second and third groups could also access a voter guide, campaign ads and newspaper articles about the ballot issue, but only the third group could access newspaper articles with disclosure information.  It was up to participants to decide which sources, if any, to view before voting.


Filed Under: Blog

It’s Time To Bring Some Sanity To Campaign Finance Laws

Filed Under: In the News

Phone Lines are Open

Campaign-related speech is more than just contribution limits and donor disclosure statutes.  Right now, a case is before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on the merits of a state law banning political campaigns from making so-called auto-dialed calls, or “robocalls.”

We’re all familiar with robocalls, those annoying recorded missives from national politicians urging us to cast a vote for Local Candidate X.  Of course, the Head On commercials are annoying too, and nobody is talking about prohibiting those…


Filed Under: Blog

City Council Weighs in on Constitutional Amendment

As the “Occupy” movement loses steam, the fight to limit corporate rights of political expression has begun taking familiar tacks.  In this case, it’s a local government creating a fuss about corporate speech.

Last week in California, the Los Angeles City Council voted to support a constitutional amendment intended to overturnCitizens United.   The LA Times published an interesting op-ed by Jim Newton (The City Council’s casual hypocrisy, 12/12) exploring the relationship between money, speech, the LA City Council and corporations:

If the company that employs me, the privately held Tribune Co., donated $1 million to Barack Obama, would that be any less an act of speech than if the chairman of this company ordered every one of his editorial pages to support Obama (thankfully, both of those are hypotheticals)? Is it a campaign contribution, an act of speech or both if Random House releases a book denouncing Newt Gingrich a day before the New Hampshire primary? Is it any different if Sony releases a movie making the same point? Money and speech intersect in a variety of complicated ways.


Filed Under: Blog

In the News: Forbes: It’s Time To Bring Some Sanity To Campaign Finance Laws

It’s Time To Bring Some Sanity To Campaign Finance Laws By Academic Advisor David Primo This past election when Dina Galassini emailed some friends urging them to join her in opposing a ballot initiative proposing $30 million in bonds for the town of Fountain Hills, Ariz., she thought she was doing what Americans have done […]

Filed Under: Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Disclosure State, In the News, Published Articles, State In the News, Arizona

Wertheimer Wants Disclosure. Or Does He?

Much has been made of Obama’s speech from Osawatomie, Kansas last week, where the President attempts to outline his prescription for healing the country’s current economic woes. For the most part, media outlets have contented themselves to drawing general parallels between Obama and Teddy Roosevelt, the owner of the very large and very Progressive shoes Obama seems eager to fill. Some however — like Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer — see a very specific correlation: campaign finance reform. From HuffPo:

For more than a century, the Roosevelt position prevailed in our country. Corporate money was barred from being used in federal elections. Our national policy was based on a simple proposition: only individuals and groups of individuals were allowed to contribute or spend money to influence federal elections.


Filed Under: Blog

Legal Director Allen Dickerson on Last Week’s Advisory Opinions

CCP Legal Director Allen Dickerson wrote a column Wednesday commenting on the FEC’s response last week to the Sen. Mike Lee and American Crossroads advisory opinions:

Lee’s camp argued that IEs don’t give funds directly to candidates’ campaigns so they can’t be corrupting. Why should it matter, the Lee camp’s thinking goes, if the funds went to a leadership PAC? They still couldn’t be used for any of Lee’s election activity, and so they couldn’t corrupt him or anyone else.

The FEC disagreed-in a unanimous vote. And because a federal statute was directly on point, capping contributions not only to federal candidates but also their agents and any affiliated entities, the commission had little choice. That doesn’t mean the underlying law is constitutional-and I expect we’ll see litigation on precisely that point-but at least the FEC recognized that, where there’s controlling law, its duty is to explain that law to the public.


Filed Under: Blog

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