PDF of analysis and recommended language available here Ms. Jodi Remke Chairwoman Fair Political Practices Commission 428 J Street, Suite 620 Sacramento, CA 95814 Dear Ms. Remke: As you know, California’s Fair Political Practices Commission (“FPPC”), the body charged with the administration and enforcement of California’s Political Reform Act (“Act”), has partnered with the University […]
Archives for October 2016
Comments and Suggested Language to California Fair Political Practices Commission on Proposed Revisions to Political Reform Act of 1974
By Jason Taylor
Amendment 2 would limit donations to statewide, legislative, and judicial offices to $2,600 per election and would cap contributions to political parties at $25,000.
Ryan Johnson with Missouri Alliance for Freedom contends the current arrangement, which allows for unlimited donations, is a central pillar of free speech…
Johnson with Missouri Alliance for Freedom contends large contributions don’t lead to outsize influence of those donors. He notes St. Louis billionaire Rex Sinquefield has made such donations this year with little to show for it. “He spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $11 million this election cycle. And most of those results did not turn out the way he desired.” Johnson also points to a study by the Center for Competitive Politics which showed no relationship between contribution limits and states’ corruption rates. The Center for Competitive Politics claims its mission is “to promote and defend First Amendment rights to free political speech, assembly, and petition.”
By Luke Wachob
The Founding Fathers knew a thing or two about freedom of speech. One, free speech is essential to a flourishing democracy. Two, it can only serve that vital role when speakers are free from retaliation…
With the internet, it’s easier than ever to access and weaponize information about someone’s views on controversial issues. Opinions in the mainstream today may seem radical decades later, but public records of your contributions will live online forever. In a country where civic engagement is on the decline – 2014 saw the lowest voter turnout in 70 years – the threat of an internet mob attacking you, your family, or your business is one more reason to stay silent.
Fortunately, we can roll back this culture of intimidation by taking a page from the Founding Fathers and the civil rights movement. They recognized that if supporters of causes could be bullied into silence, speech could not play its crucial role of challenging the establishment and driving social progress. Let’s vow not only to protect the First Amendment, but also to protect the privacy that keeps speech free.
The Brennan Center for Justice recently released a report entitled “Developing Empirical Evidence for Campaign Finance Cases.” Written by Brent Ferguson and Chisun Lee – a Counsel and Senior Counsel, respectively, at Brennan – their paper serves three basic functions. It is part examination of the current landscape surrounding campaign finance jurisprudence, part survey of […]
Daily Caller: Dems Upset Over Leadership Decision To Withdraw Funds From Senate Race In Florida (In the News)
By Kerry Picket
Politico reported Tuesday evening that outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Florida donors became upset when New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer and DSCC Chairman Montana Sen. Jon Tester decided that less-expensive advertising markets in North Carolina, Missouri and Indiana provided the party with an opportunity to take the majority from Republicans without exclusively putting all the money on a win in Florida…
The neck and neck race towards the finish line in the Sunshine State, according to political observers, means a push for media spending is a high priority.
“Florida is probably one of the biggest competitive states. There are a lot of media markets all over the state. It costs a lot money to run in Florida,” David Keating, president of the Center for Competitive Politics, told The Sentinel.
By Mona Charen
When Democrats speak of “dark money,” they are creating a bogeyman. Here’s what they’re referring to: When nonprofits like Planned Parenthood, trade associations or the NRA (i.e., groups that devote more than 50 percent of their activities to nonpolitical matters) spend money on political messaging, they do not have to disclose their donors (except funds earmarked for that particular ad).
As former FEC Chairman Brad Smith explains, this represents a small fraction of total campaign spending. In 2012, it was 4.3 percent. In 2016, it’s coming in at under 3 percent. We know how much they spend, because they must report it. We know what they represent, or in the case of a group like Americans for Prosperity, we can easily find out. And nothing in the Citizens United decision altered disclosure requirements…
Donald Trump again signaled his contempt for democratic norms by declining to say he’d respect the results of the election. But Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, who stoke mistrust by falsely spinning conspiracy theories of illegitimate, dark forces controlling our system are also to blame for the parlous state of social trust in America.