By Tyler O’Neil
When Donald Trump won the presidency on Tuesday night, he didn’t just dash Hillary Clinton’s hopes – he also overcame millions of campaign and “dark money” dollars spent against him. In every area of campaign finance, Clinton’s raised (and almost certainly spent) more money but “money can’t buy you love” – or votes, for that matter.
According to data from the Center for Competitive Politics, Clinton outspent Trump more than 2 to 1, Pro-Clinton ads outnumbered pro-Trump ads 3 to 1, “dark money” groups for Clinton outspent those backing Trump 3 to 1, Clinton backers ran 3 times as many ads in battleground states, and the three biggest super PACs each backed a losing candidate.
In other words, if you believe like Bernie Sanders said over and over and over again, that “millionaires and billionaires” buy elections, 2016 should be a blaring wake-up call.
By Tyler O’Neil
Pacific Legal Foundation: Friends of the First Amendment file friend-of-the-court briefs (In the News)
By Wen Fa
Financial regulators targeted Bob Bennie after he made unsavory comments about President Obama. Although Bennie spoke as a tea party activist, the regulators pressured Bennie’s employer to levy financial sanctions on him for sharing his political views. In a Supreme Court petition, PLF explained that the regulators’ actions violate the First Amendment prohibition against government retaliation for speech. This week, several friend-of-the-court briefs reiterated the need for Supreme Court review…
These briefs, along with another friend-of-the-court brief by the Center for Competitive Politics, underscore the importance of Bennie’s petition. Briefing is set to conclude at the end of the year. PLF hopes for a favorable decision at the beginning of 2017.
Filed Under: In the News
By Brad Johnson
Eric Wang, a special counsel in election law in Washington, D.C., warned about the measure before the election in a detailed brief written on behalf of the Center for Competitive Politics. His group did not recommend how to vote, but simply tried to present the facts.
The measure, he said, makes more than 70 changes to South Dakota’s elections law. It greatly restricts freedom of personal and commercial speech, severely restricts campaign contributions and creates a government reporting burden that may not “survive a constitutional challenge in litigation. “This could result in substantial legal fee payments by the state to successful plaintiffs under federal civil rights laws.”…
It “would enact expansive new disclaimer, reporting, and compelled speech requirements for anyone – even an individual – who spends even a minimal amount communicating about issues of public concern.”
This requirement, he said, “would deter and punish the exercise of First Amendment rights.”
By Ken Kurson
According to figures compiled by the Center for Competitive Politics, an Alexandria group that opposes caps on political spending, Clinton’s campaign outspent the Trump campaign by more than 2 to 1…
One of the lessons from this experience comes from David Keating, the president of the Center for Competitive Politics. “Money can’t buy love, and it can’t buy votes. All it can do is help deliver a message. The voters didn’t want what Clinton offered.”…
Keating points to a well-known fact about moneyed candidates: “Lots of politicians spend tons and get few votes or lose.” He told the Observer about a bunch of recent debacles: “Jeb Bush and his super PAC were way ahead in the money race. He got 4 delegates to Trump’s 1543. David Trone spent nearly $10 million of his own money in a Maryland Democratic primary this year. And lost. Napoleon Harris spent $2.1 million the Illinois Democratic primary for Senate, and lost. In 2012, Linda McMahon spent nearly $50 million in personal funds in her CT Senate general election race, and lost. David Dewhurst spent nearly $20 million out of his pocket and lost to Ted Cruz in the [US Senate] primary.”
Alexandria, VA – The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP), America’s largest nonprofit defending First Amendment political speech rights, released the following statement on the results of the 2016 Presidential Election, in which Donald Trump was elected despite being vastly outspent by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “The idea that money buys elections was disproven […]
With the election of Donald Trump and the defeat of Hillary Clinton, we are reminded once again that the role of money in politics cannot buy results, and that no matter how much money is spent or political ads are run, it is voters who decide the race. The following are just a few facts […]
Filed Under: Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, Super PACs, 2016 Presidential Election, Conservative Solutions PAC, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Priorities USA Action, Right to Rise, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania
By Bradley Smith
Anonymous speech was a frequent feature of Hamilton’s life – and of the American founding overall. Arguably the single most influential piece leading to American independence was signed simply “Common Sense,” Thomas Paine’s pen name. Just over a decade later, Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay co-wrote the Federalist Papers as “Publius.”…
The bottom line is that it is highly probable that the United States would not even exist without anonymous speech. Sadly, we have forgotten this lesson somewhere in the intervening years. Today, anonymous speech is too often demonized, derided as “dark,” or otherwise dismissed for its lack of “transparency.”
Although there are many examples, the brunt of these attacks centers on the anonymous speech used by nonprofit organizations on both the right and the left. These groups reach out to the public with messages on a wide number of issues, and they can be supported by individuals, corporations, unions and more. The nationwide campaign against anonymous speech is, by and large, a campaign to force these supporters’ identities into the open.