Daily Media Links 3/31: Texas Judge Puts New York AG On Defensive Over Exxon Probe, Lawsuit Challenging Dark Money Donor Secrecy Advances, and more…

Free Speech                                       New York Post: Partisan prosecutions: How state attorneys general dove into politics By Walter Olson Many Democratic AGs, for their part, have been using their powers of office to target thinkers, activists and donors on the opposite side. Now-Sen. Kamala Harris, when she was California AG, pushed hard to force nonprofits […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

The Federalist: How Fake ‘Transparency’ Laws Fuel Mobs That Attack Private Citizens For Free Speech (In the News)

By Paul Jossey
A multi-million-dollar industry exists to convince (and force) Americans to accept political transparency as indispensable and privacy as dangerous. Disclosures have their place, but advocates of these policies-rarely targets themselves-ignore their price and limited place in the constitutional system.
In nonprofit advocacy, disclosure often enables harassment and intimidation for those whose stances clash with nation’s cultural elite. Historically, such disclosure also aimed to deter those who pushed for social change and civil rights…
Disclosure laws are supposed to monitor government, not private citizens. The public should know if a corporation, union, or wealthy individual with business before Senator X’s committee spends millions advocating his reelection. But the First Amendment protects nonprofit donors from public glare in part because they may take unpopular or controversial stances…
Two centuries ago, Tocqueville marveled at America’s organic, spontaneous civil society. Today more than one million groups thrive under our donor-protected system. Subjecting these donors to the harassment of today’s continual outrage machine serves no legitimate ends.

Filed Under: In the News, Paul Jossey, Published Articles

Daily Media Links 3/30: The Future of Free Speech, Trolls, Anonymity and Fake News Online, California ‘fake news’ bill falters amid free speech concerns, and more…

In the News                                        The Federalist: How Fake ‘Transparency’ Laws Fuel Mobs That Attack Private Citizens For Free Speech By Paul Jossey A multi-million-dollar industry exists to convince (and force) Americans to accept political transparency as indispensable and privacy as dangerous. Disclosures have their place, but advocates of these policies-rarely targets themselves-ignore their price […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

More Soft Money Hard Law: Investigating the “Structure” of Contribution Limits: “Elementary, Holmes” (In the News)

By Bob Bauer
The FEC will be defending the “structure” of the contribution limits this week in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The case, Holmes v. Federal Election Commission, tests the constitutionality of the “per election” limits as applied to a donor’s choice to participate only in the one-the general-election. If a donor skips a primary, and wishes only to contribute in the general, she now cannot give the full amount allowed for the election cycle cycle, $5400, but only half of that: $2700, the “per election” limit for the general. The Holmes plaintiffs’ point is that this bifurcation of the limits serves no legitimate anti-corruption purpose…
The problem presented by the bifurcation of the limits is worsened by the messiness of its application. Incumbents and other largely unopposed candidates do well under this system, collecting money for primaries they don’t have to compete in and transferring the money to their general election accounts…
Defending this arrangement just adds to the inefficiencies and cost of compliance with the “regular” campaign finance system, and to the reasons why candidates and parties flee from it.

Filed Under: In the News, In the News Our Cases

Daily Media Links 3/29: Court Allows Challenge to FEC Rule Shielding Nonprofit Donors, Trump serves as rocket fuel for Democratic fundraising, and more…

In the News                                        More Soft Money Hard Law: Investigating the “Structure” of Contribution Limits: “Elementary, Holmes” By Bob Bauer The FEC will be defending the “structure” of the contribution limits this week in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The case, Holmes v. Federal Election Commission, tests the constitutionality […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

The Hill: Money doesn’t buy elections and elections aren’t rigged. Period. (In the News)

By Alex Baiocco
The truth is, academic research demonstrates that existing campaign finance regulations do nothing to reduce perceptions of corruption or increase trust in government. More speech restrictions will equal more of the same.
Nor is there evidence that money “buys” electoral outcomes…
In other words, advocates of further regulating political speech are making demonstrably false claims that call into question the legitimacy of electoral outcomes.
When Donald Trump first claimed that the election was “rigged” as a candidate, critics were quick to suggest that making such a claim was a threat to democracy. Why? Because it called into question the legitimacy of our election results.
As president, Trump has continued to make similar claims…
Trump’s critics are right to call him out for making such serious allegations without providing any legitimate evidence. But the evidence that money buys elections is just as lacking as the evidence of voter fraud in New Hampshire. Those same critics who call out Trump should also criticize the “reform” lobby with equal fervor.

Filed Under: Alex Baiocco, In the News, Published Articles

Daily Media Links 3/28: Here’s how senators plan to vote on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, California Bill To Ban “Fake News” Would Be Disastrous for Political Speech, and more…

In the News                                        The Hill: Money doesn’t buy elections and elections aren’t rigged. Period. By Alex Baiocco The truth is, academic research demonstrates that existing campaign finance regulations do nothing to reduce perceptions of corruption or increase trust in government. More speech restrictions will equal more of the same. Nor is there evidence […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

Constitutional and Practical Issues with California Assembly Bill 1104

The Honorable Ed Chau The Honorable Kevin Kiley RE: Constitutional and Practical Issues with Assembly Bill 1104 Dear Chair Chau, Vice Chair Kiley, and Members of the Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee: On behalf of the Center for Competitive Politics (“the Center”),[1] I respectfully submit the following comments on constitutional and practical issues with […]

Filed Under: Blog, External Relations Comments and Testimony, State, State Comments and Testimony, False Statement Laws, sba list v. driehaus, United States v. Alvarez, California

Daily Signal: Judge Warns 9th Circuit’s Use of Trump Campaign Pledge ‘Judicial Psychoanalysis’ (In the News)

By Fred Lucas
A federal judge is raising an alarm about “judicial psychoanalysis” resulting from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on President Donald Trump’s executive order…
Applying campaign statements when interpreting law “sows chaos,” said Judge Alex Kozinski, who has been on the 9th Circuit since 1985, in his dissent…
The 9th Circuit majority cited three Supreme Court cases displaying precedent that “evidence of purpose beyond the face of the challenged law” can be applied in interpreting the intent of a measure…
However, those cases pertained to deliberations in making the law rather than campaign promises, noted Bradley Smith, chairman of the Center for Competitive Politics, a group that opposes restrictions on campaign speech.
“It’s definitely unusual for judges to use campaign statements to define whether an action is constitutional,” Smith, a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, told The Daily Signal. “I doubt it would chill campaign speech, but it is a dangerous path. This could be very selectively enforced for candidates that use shorthand or off-the-cuff remarks. Already political discourse is too scripted. If this becomes a precedent, it will mean no spontaneity and pure teleprompter.”

Filed Under: Brad Smith, In the News, Quotes CCP

Daily Media Links 3/27: Gorsuch’s Free-Speech Lesson, First Amendment Victory Over Ban on Political Contributions from Medical Marijuana Businesses in Illinois, and more…

In the News                                        Daily Signal: Judge Warns 9th Circuit’s Use of Trump Campaign Pledge ‘Judicial Psychoanalysis’ By Fred Lucas A federal judge is raising an alarm about “judicial psychoanalysis” resulting from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on President Donald Trump’s executive order… Applying campaign statements when interpreting law “sows chaos,” […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

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