Statement on Van Hollen Decision

Former Federal Election Commission Chairman and Center for Competitive Politics Chairman Bradley A. Smith released this statement in reaction to the District Court ruling in Van Hollen v. FEC:
“The practical impact of the decision is small.  Groups seeking to elect or defeat candidates have largely abandoned so-called electioneering communications ads in favor of telling voters how to cast their votes.  Donor disclosure for such independent expenditure ads is only required when the contributors donate ‘for the purpose of furthering the reported independent expenditure.’
“The decision is a blow against groups seeking to influence the public debate on issues.  The disclosure rules will force such speech off the airwaves.
“The Independence Institute v. FEC case warned of that result. That litigation provides the courts with an opportunity to protect genuine issue speech from the chill of badly tailored disclosure laws.”
You can find more information on the Independence Institute v. FEC case at this link.
The Center for Competitive Politics promotes and defends the First Amendment’s protection of the political rights of speech, assembly, and petition. It is the nation’s largest organization dedicated solely to protecting First Amendment political rights.


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