“Corporate Political Spending and Foreign Influence” Forum Criticized

Alexandria, VA – The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP), America’s largest nonprofit defending First Amendment political speech rights, today released a statement on a forum at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) organized by Commissioner Ellen Weintraub entitled “Corporate Political Spending and Foreign Influence.”

Weintraub is using government office space and FEC resources to promote the Forum and invited many panelists who oppose First Amendment speech rights.

“This forum makes a mockery of the purpose of the FEC – to be the nonpartisan regulator of campaign finance law,” said CCP Chairman Brad Smith.

CCP President David Keating said, “a forum like this is better suited for a leftist think tank than the FEC. After Watergate, Congress created the agency to prevent one party from writing campaign speech rules to benefit their candidates and ideas. A partisan forum promoting speech limits is something that President Nixon would have admired.”

CCP’s statement pierces many of the myths promoted by those favoring more government control of speech, and notes that:

  • Campaign spending by nonprofit groups has never been more than 4.3% of total campaign spending and declined in the last election cycle.
  • Political spending by corporations comprises an insignificant portion of overall spending.
  • Foreign money continues to be illegal in campaigns, and there is no evidence that there are any significant efforts by foreigners to circumvent this prohibition.

To read CCP’s entire statement on the Forum, click here.

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