Roll Call: Activists Brace for Fight Over Campaign Finance Law (In the News)

By Alex Roarty
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina said last month that they will introduce legislation next year that would let a single donor contribute as much as he or she wanted to the candidate of their choice…
“A lot of people who may like the idea of contribution limits are saying, ‘What the heck is the point?'” said David Keating, president of the Center for Competitive Politics, a group that opposes most restrictions on how candidates and parties raise and spend money. “A lot of people don’t see much difference between making a contribution to a super PAC backing one candidate and making a contribution to a candidate directly.”…
Keating said he doubts the Meadows-Cruz legislation will get past a Democratic-led filibuster in the Senate. But he is hopeful that smaller changes – such as raising the contribution limits, pegging them to inflation, or increasing the amount of “coordinated money” that parties and candidates can spend together – could make it through.
The system itself needs an overhaul, he argued.
“There’s years’ worth of crap that needs to be removed,” he said. “Because it’s just a lot of nonsense that’s in the law.”

Filed Under: David Keating, In the News, Quotes CCP

New York Times: In Donald McGahn, Donald Trump Gets a Combative White House Counsel (In the News)

By Eric Lichtblau
Mr. McGahn, Donald J. Trump’s pick for White House counsel, fought for years to strip away limits on big money in politics long before the Supreme Court blessed the idea…
“Don is very smart, he’s very combative, and he’s very dogged,” said Robert Bauer, a former White House counsel under Mr. Obama.
Those qualities worry some Democrats who have tangled with him over the years, particularly during his time, from 2008 to 2013, as a commissioner at the Federal Election Commission…
Mr. McGahn’s admirers, however, chafe at the suggestion that he might become a rubber stamp for Mr. Trump.
“I don’t see any way that Don McGahn is going to be a yes man,” said Bradley A. Smith, a professor in election law at Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio, who has worked with Mr. McGahn on election issues. “I’m not sure there are too many good Republican campaign finance lawyers who could have handled Mr. Trump, and Don was able to do that.”

Filed Under: Brad Smith, In the News

Daily Media Links 12/13: The War on Free Speech Escalates, Unlimited political spending plan looms over lame duck, and more…

In the News New York Times: In Donald McGahn, Donald Trump Gets a Combative White House Counsel By Eric Lichtblau Mr. McGahn, Donald J. Trump’s pick for White House counsel, fought for years to strip away limits on big money in politics long before the Supreme Court blessed the idea… “Don is very smart, he’s […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

Analysis of New Jersey Campaign Finance Legislation A. 3639 and A. 3902

PDF of analysis available here By Eric Wang, Senior Fellow[1] The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP)[2] provides the following analysis of A. 3639 and A. 3902.[3] Upon information and belief, these campaign finance bills, which were introduced earlier this year, may be considered during the remainder of New Jersey’s 217th Legislature.[4] A. 3639 and A. […]

Filed Under: Blog, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Comments, Contribution Limits State, Disclosure, Disclosure Comments, Disclosure State, External Relations Comments and Testimony, State, State Comments and Testimony, Issue Advocacy, New Jersey

Daily Media Links 12/12: Tech giants are set to take the regulation of online speech into their own hands, It Took An Independently Wealthy Billionaire To Prove Money Doesn’t Win Elections, and more…

Congress Washington Examiner: Cruz plan would make super PACs ‘irrelevant’ By Al Weaver The bill, titled the SuperPAC Elimination Act of 2017, would remove caps on individual contributions, which are limited to $2,700, and require disclosure within 24 hours, creating, what Cruz believes would be, a more “simple” and direct system that makes campaigns more […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

CRP: Could campaign finance overhaul help solve congressional gridlock? (In the News)

By Ashley Balcerzak
Should we restrict political contributions? How have weakened political parties impacted this election? Can public financing work? President-elect Donald Trump pledged to “drain the swamp,” yet has not proposed changes to the campaign finance system. So experts in the field with various viewpoints ran through scenarios at a forum organized by New York University and law firm Sidley Austin on Thursday.
Vice President Joe Biden headlined the event, breezing by the subject except to call “the role of big money” in our system “corrupting,” and saying, “If you want to change overnight the way of the electoral process in America, have public financing.”
Experts argued about what form that corruption – if it exists – takes, with some disputing Biden’s suggested cure. David Keating, president of the conservative Center for Competitive Politics, maintained there is no evidence stricter contribution limits affect the amount of corruption in politics.

Filed Under: David Keating, In the News

Urban Family Talk: Zac Morgan of CCP, On SOTR (In the News)

CCP Staff Attorney Zac Morgan discusses campaign finance and lobbying regulations on Stacy on the Right (beginning at 19:20).

Filed Under: Broadcast, Video, Audio, In the News, Zac Morgan

Daily Media Links 12/9: Trump won with half as much money as Clinton raised, Meet the Democrats’ proto-Trumps, and more…

In the News CRP: Could campaign finance overhaul help solve congressional gridlock?  By Ashley Balcerzak Should we restrict political contributions? How have weakened political parties impacted this election? Can public financing work? President-elect Donald Trump pledged to “drain the swamp,” yet has not proposed changes to the campaign finance system. So experts in the field with […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

Daily Media Links 12/8: College Newspaper Endorsements Likely Okay Under IRS Rules, When Everything Is ‘Fake News,’ and more…

Free Speech Forward: Free Speech Advocates Warn that Anti-Semitism Bill Could Make Activism a Civil Rights Violation By Josh Nathan-Kazis The bill “opens the door to considering anti-Israel political statements and activities as possible grounds for civil rights investigations,” said Michael Macleod-Ball, chief of staff of the American Civil Liberties Union’s legislative office in Washington. […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

Washington Examiner: Trump will get great advice on the First Amendment (In the News)

The flag is a symbol of our nation, the best in the world, and our freedoms. But burning it is also free speech…
While the First Amendment is always under assault, two key members of the incoming Trump administration are good friends of free speech.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence is one. He proved this in 2006 when he was one of just 18 Republicans to vote against a GOP-backed bill aimed at shutting down Democratic-leaning advocacy groups. Not only did Pence vote against the bill, he tried to get his colleagues to join him in opposing the measure.
Over Thanksgiving weekend, Trump named Don McGahn as his White House counsel. McGahn did a fantastic job when he was on the Federal Election Commission. He successfully implemented many meaningful reforms there to protect due process rights and free speech. You won’t find a stronger advocate for First Amendment free-speech rights than McGahn.
Trump’s tweet is disturbing. But knowing that he’ll get advice on free speech from Mike Pence and Don McGahn makes me feel a lot better.

Filed Under: David Keating, In the News, Published Articles

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